Cumberland sheriff hires attorney for poker cases

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The Cumberland County sheriff has hired a private attorney to help with a civil lawsuit over video poker machines.

The Fayetteville Observer reported (http://bit.ly/16hxYmb) the move comes even though Sheriff Earl Butler said his hiring of a staff attorney in 2011 would end outside legal bills for his department.

Cumberland County Attorney Rick Moorefield says the hiring is legal.

But there are questions since the attorney Butler has hired, Grant Mitchell, is the son of Butler's staff attorney, Ronnie Mitchell.

Ronnie Mitchell says another lawyer was needed to keep the civil lawsuit separate from a criminal investigation of the case. He says his son was hired because he was familiar with the case.

County Commission Vice Chairwoman Jeannette Council says the hiring of Mitchell's son does not look good.

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Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com

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