Criminal case continues between school board members Craven and Onslow

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An alleged cyberstalking case filed by a Craven County elected official against an Onslow County official continued through February.

In December, Kelli Muse, an Onslow County Schools employee and Craven School Board member, attempted to file three charges against Onslow County School Board member Eric Whitfield for bullying, cyberstalking and transmitting threat.

Whitfield was charged with cyberstalking on December 6. Although Muse also attempted to press charges for harassment and transmitting threats, an Onslow County magistrate did not have enough evidence to bring those charges, according to Muse.

“I can’t help what a magistrate decides to do,” Muse said. “Bullying is part of the definition of cyberbullying.”

After speaking with Col. Chris Thomas on Tuesday and confirming records with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, cyberstalking was the only criminal charge Whitfield was cited with.

Following:Onslow School Board Member Charged with Harassment and Cyberstalking Craven School Board Member

“There are no accusations of harassment and threats,” Whitfield said of the matter. “You can ask my kids, I don’t make threats. I told her if she texts me again I’ll show the messages to my dog.”

On January 11, Muse obtained a judgment for Whitfield, not to have any contact with her, directly or indirectly, including contact via social networks. On Monday, the judgment was extended until March 17.”

Whitfield will be in Onslow County District Court on February 24 on the cyberstalking charge.

Onslow BOE delays vote to censure Whitfield on Tuesday

The Onslow School Board decided to suspend the vote to censure Whitfield at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Instead, the board created a litigation committee made up of five current members of the Board of Education. The board also authorized the superintendent and staff to engage an outside law firm to provide additional advice.

Whitfield issued a public apology during the council’s comment period, in particular to a parent he admitted to posting photos of his children on Facebook. Whitfield has not issued a public apology to Muse.

In December, Muse a CTE (Career and Technical Education) Program Assistance and Financial Secretary for OCS, took to Facebook about a conversation she and Whitfield had about systemic problems in schools.

Whitfield allegedly told Muse she “didn’t matter” because she doesn’t live in Onslow, despite being an OCS employee.

The conversation took place on a Friday, December 3, as Muse claimed Whitfield reached out to her several times over the weekend.

The Onslow County School Board decided to hire an outside attorney to advise it on the possibility of censoring board member Eric Whitfield.

Following:Onslow School Board Holds Eric Whitfield No Confidence Vote To Hire Outside Lawyer

Muse said she asked Whitfield to stop texting her, however, Whitfield reportedly texted back asking where Muse is currently. Muse added that Whitfield allegedly contacted several of her acquaintances, using vulgar language to describe her.

Whitfield was elected to the school board in 2020 following a controversial campaign in which he was accused of making racist and derogatory comments about minorities, the Daily News reported. The Onslow County GOP denounced him as a candidate.

Journalist Trevor Dunnell can be reached by email at [email protected] Please consider supporting local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription.

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