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Bernita Sims turns herself in after felony indictment

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point Mayor Bernita Sims turned herself in at the magistrate's office in High Point on Tuesday afternoon.

After Sims turned herself in, there was an apparent issue with paperwork and she was taken to Greensboro. Sims was released by the magistrate on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

She is scheduled to appear in Guilford County Superior Court on Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.

Sims was indicted on Monday afternoon by a Guilford County grand jury for allegedly writing a worthless $7,000 check as part of an estate settlement, according to Assistant Guilford County Clerk of Court Adrienne Adams.

Sims was indicted on one felony count of passing a worthless check. The charge is a Class H felony due to involving more than $2,000.

The bill of indictment states Sims ”unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did draw, make, utter or issue and deliver to [Annie Ponce]” a check from a First Bank account in High Point that Sims “knew at the time … did not have sufficient funds on deposit with the bank with which to pay the check.”

According to Noelle Talley, N.C. Department of Justice public information officer, the SBI investigated the case and attorneys with the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division are prosecuting it.

In October, the City Council voted 6-3 asking Sims to resign, citing an investigation into the matter and the mayor’s unpaid state income taxes and a city utility bill delinquency. During that hearing, Sims reiterated she will not resign from office.

“Judge me on my work, judge me on what I do. Don’t judge me on a utility bill that has paid. Don’t judge me on an allegation around a check… that has been paid. Judge me on whether or not we’re doing the work, and I would say we are,” said Mayor Sims.

18 comments

  • Gary

    Wow. Judge her on her work and not on an allegation about a check or unpaid utililty bill. Does that mean she will direct the City of High Point to provide free utility service since she can’t judge someone on their inability to pay. I guess it’s open season on violating the law as long as we make up for it before we are caught. Everything will be forgiven.

  • Chucky1992

    Her courtdate is 11/20. She got an unsecured bond. The “problem” with the paperwork was not a problem with the paperwork. The charges originated from Greensboro so that is where she had to be served with the indictment.

  • Tim

    So basically she will go in, promise to appear, then go home and go to work tomorrow….and in the mean time, use taxpayers money to pay for a high attorney and get all charges dropped and she roam freely to write bad checks and not pay utilities another day. sounds like NC to me!

    • Chucky1992

      I’d doubt that the tax payers will pay for the attorney but the other stuff could happen… it’s a game of wait and see now.

    • Pat

      You are so right. High Point is vanishing. We no longer have a mall and other major stores are moving out to the Wendover area, which to me is Greensboro not High Point. We, also, do not have a Social Security office….moved to Greensboro. How I miss our old High Point.

  • SherryB

    What an arrogant piece of work she is..And an embarrassment to the city of High Point and to the office of Mayor. She should be not just told to step down, she should be ousted immediately. She would have already been gone if it were anyone else.

  • David Hedgecock

    I think the web site of My fox 8 is still sympathetic to this Mayor;;else why would not the headline read;; “Mayor of High Point is charged and arrested for a felony” If she had any shame at all, she would have already resigned;;rather than drag the city thru this mess. I have a question for the Mayor. And just why shouldn’t the citizens of High Point judge you on your stupid and criminal acts? Don’t you support crime control and the principal ” If you do the crime, then your should do the time” But for reason she wants everyone to just look the other way. The real bottom line is as Mayor, she has a fiduciary duty to the citizens and tax payers of the City;; and it looks like she just can’t be trusted with the people’s money.

  • R. Clear

    Only in North Carolina, a banana republic, would the state attorney general and investigative agency pursue a matter of this type. It appears as though persons with legal degrees in this state are always willing to misuse their education to bully and ruin lives (e.g., NC State Assembly and arrest of the D.A. who pursued criminal charges against Duke lacross players).

    There are three things that should result from Sim’s arrest: 1.) a determination whether NC Attorney General Office should end its oversight over SBI, 2.) a federal investigation into whether the SBI and NC DOJ were motivated by members of the High Point Council who oppose Sims, and 3.) whether certain NC Department of Revenue employees have political agendas.

    In no way do I view Bernita Sims as equal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other well-known civil rights leaders; however, how NC has handled the Sims situation reminds me and many others of tactics used against African-American fighting for civil rights in the 1960’s. In other words, the white members of the High Point Council could not oust Sims, so they turned to their political and business contacts and former law school buddies to pursue her.

    For those of you who conclude I am racist because of my previous comments, you do not know the history of the civil rights movement in this country. In fact, lawyers and politicians in this state are able to get away with unethical and illegal behavior because the people are uninformed and gullible. For example, why aren’t you outraged that NC attorneys use a judicial survey to rank judges for voters. The NC Bar website contains disciplinary information on NC attorneys. How can persons who lack any degree of conscience or morality objectively rate judges? Why is it that African-American and female judges receive the lowest ratings? NC has some work to do as it relates to acceptance of African-Americans and women in leadership positions that affect the lives of whites.

    Stop protesting in the streets and file federal complaints against these legal misfits. Sims should pursue a civil rights complaint against NC DOJ, NCDOR, and the SBI to determine whether others have been treated in a similar manner. If so, are most of those individuals African-American?

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