Harnett County detention officer charged, fired for selling tobacco to inmates, sheriff says

LILLINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Harnett County detention officer was arrested Tuesday after an investigation revealed he was selling tobacco products to inmates during the course of two months.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said Michael Tandy, 27, was charged with eight counts of selling or giving tobacco to an inmate and one count of failing to discharge duties.

According to the sheriff's office, the sales happened between May and July 2019.

"I understand that all of the employees of the Harnett County Sheriff's Office are human and make mistakes as such, but the citizens of Harnett County hold all of us to a higher standard and we must be held to that high standard," Sheriff Wayne Coats said. "I require all employees to demonstrate professional and ethical conduct both on and off duty and will fully investigate any report of misconduct by my staff as it is our goal to provide safety to our detention staff and detainees housed at the facility."

Deputies said Tandy's employment was terminated July 29.

Tandy was released on a $25,000 bond and will appear in court Aug. 29.

Tandy had been hired on April 22.

"This incident was not simply a mistake or bad decision on Mr. Tandy's part," Coats said. "it was a terrible decision to commit an illegal act that reflects negatively on the reputation of every honest, professional, upstanding, employee of the Harnett County Detention Center. I am extremely disappointed in his actions."
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