Eberhardt back at Buncombe County Sheriff's office after acquittal, will take a new role

·2 min read

Former Buncombe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Don Eberhardt has returned to law enforcement and now is employed as captain for court security, just more than a month after a jury acquitted him of felony theft charges stemming from a 2020 incident.

Sheriff Quentin Miller announced the move Jan. 18.

“I’m happy to be back serving the community at the Sheriff's Office," Eberhardt said in a statement. "This profession is a calling for me and I thank everyone who supported me and believed in me during a tough time for me and my family.”

Following the jury trial that found him not guilty of stealing a gun from Carolina Guns and Gear on April 9, 2020, Eberhardt's attorney in the case, Sean Devereux, said he believed Eberhardt will have a new perspective when he puts his badge back on.

More: Not guilty: Jury acquits ex-Buncombe County Sheriff's chief deputy Eberhardt of felony charges

More: Witness in ex-Buncombe chief deputy stolen gun case: 'He was trying to protect me'

Former Buncombe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Don Eberhardt is hugged by his youngest son, Seth, after he was found not guilty of felony gun charges December 16, 2021.
Former Buncombe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Don Eberhardt is hugged by his youngest son, Seth, after he was found not guilty of felony gun charges December 16, 2021.

"Now you'll have a police officer that knows what it's like to be falsely accused of a crime," he told the Citizen Times in December. "He was already a great officer. That's going to make him even better."

Miller praised Eberhardt's skill in law enforcement on Jan. 18, welcoming his former colleague back to the force.

“As I have said before, Don Eberhardt is a good man and a good law enforcement officer. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber in our ranks at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office,” Miller said.

All captains at the BCSO make a salary of $84,391.27.

Currently, BCSO's chief deputy is Herbert Blake. According to a salary database obtained by the Citizen Times in December, Blake makes $121,334.

Related: Salary Database: Buncombe loses 215 employees in a year; salaries an issue, says county manager

According to BCSO spokesperson Aaron Sarver, Eberhart will supervise 21 deputies who make up Buncombe's court security division.

"Our court security division is responsible for the safety of the courthouse and all courtrooms, both civil and criminal," Sarver said, explaining Eberhardt's new position. "Six district courts and three superior courts are required to have a court bailiff, a sworn deputy, who works as part of court system to maintain safety. Deputies also provide security screening upon entering the courthouse annex where the public must pass through metal detectors."

Related: State's deadliest jail: Buncombe has worst death rate, Citizen Times investigation shows

Andrew Jones is Buncombe County government and health care reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow or reach him at @arjonesreports on Facebook and Twitter. Email him at arjones@citizentimes.com.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Sheriff welcomes Eberhardt back to force following recent acquittal

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