Setting Mr. Cheek’s Record Straight

April 7, 2019 Off By Jay Hubbard

At the Board of Commissioners meeting that happened on April 1st, at the end of the night Commissioner Grant Cheek and Mayor Danny Shaw railed against a local citizen who posted a criminal records check about Mr. Cheek on social media. Cheek claimed that all of what was posted was false, while Shaw claimed that he searched his own name and found a long list of false charges against himself, so let’s set the record straight.

Here’s a link to the original record search I posted on my Facebook timeline, which was re-posted several times in several places by others. I’m not one to rely on questionable or inaccurate information, so I double checked my findings against searches on several other individuals I could verify, as well as a background check on myself, before I shared that link above with my friends.

The search on my name showed two results out of four that I expected to find. One was a speeding ticket I received the year I graduated from high school, 1984, and the other was a citation I received in 1995, when the registration on the company truck I was driving had expired. I’ve also been cited for running a flashing red stop light in Winston-Salem when I was still in high school, and I got a speeding ticket about 15 years ago in Reidsville,. For whatever reason the latter two are not listed. Bottom line, information found at public.courtrecords.org is quite accurate if you know a little bit about who you’re looking up.

At the April 1st meeting, Grant Cheek stated that everything I found at public.courtrecords.org was false, and he threatened to drag people into court over it, so the following day I paid a visit to the Randolph County Courthouse. There I used the state-owned public computers in the Clerk of Superior Court’s office to do another search. The results were the same with one exception. At the courthouse you don’t have to pay a third party for public records; you can just email them to yourself, ten cases at a time, free of charge.

Out of thirty-one records returned from a search for the name Grant Bernard Cheek, thirty matched Commissioner Cheek’s date of birth, and most happened in cities like Liberty, Randleman, High Point, and Ramseur; places where this particular Grant B. Cheek might reasonably be expected to be found. Click this link to download a zip file containing all 30 files.

Bear in mind, not all of these cases ended in criminal convictions; most were traffic tickets that were resolved when a fine was paid, tags renewed, or improper equipment repaired, but there were several charges for writing worthless checks, and at least one charge of simple assault, to which Mr. Cheek appears to have pleaded guilty.

During the same part of the meeting Mayor Shaw said that he had searched his own name, and stated that he has “never received a citation for anything in [his] life”. He claimed that a search of his name at public.courtrecords.org returned a long list of false charges against him, but that’s not the whole story. The list I got from a search for “Danny Shaw” did yield many results, but a quick glance at details like birthdate or city made it pretty obvious that the individuals listed were not our mayor.

Our mayor, Danny Roy Shaw, will be 72 years old this year, meaning he was born about 1947. The Danny Shaws listed in the search results had birth years ranging from 1958 to 1996, and they were charged in cities like West Jefferson, Charlotte, and Durham. Only an idiot would believe that any of those individuals are Mayor Shaw; they are not our Danny R. Shaw by any stretch of the imagination.

Mayor Danny Shaw is either intentionally misleading the public, in this case to garner sympathy that neither he nor Grant Cheek deserves, or he has again revealed his ignorance of information technology and/or his inability to understand what he reads.

Commissioner Cheek, and every other member our town’s governing board, should have known on the day he filed to run for office that once you place your name on a ballot to become an elected official your entire life is under a microscope. Any skeletons in your closet will find their way out. If you can’t handle the scrutiny, threatening to drag people into court for sharing public records is not the way to make it stop.

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