Rockingham County residents ask Commissioner Mabe to step down

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- Rockingham County residents spoke out at the county commissioners meeting Monday, demanding that Commissioner Keith Mabe step down.

"Stand up and be the man you need to be and give up your position," said resident Kelly Lawson.

It was the first time residents came face to face with Mabe since he was charged with a DWI in July, his second charge of drunk driving in less than a year.

Many are calling the charges an embarrassment to the county.

"What you do behind closed doors is between you and the good Lord, but when you take several tons of steel and get liquored up and pilled up and head out on the road, that affects my babies," said resident Byron Tabor.

Commissioners voted unanimously to remove Mabe as a delegate to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

Boards of commissioners across the state vote once a year to appoint one person to represent them at a state convention.

Before the meeting, commissioners gave Mabe a letter of request asking for his resignation.

Commissioner Craig Travis had harsh words for his fellow county leader.

“What Mr. Mabe has is what is called a pickled brain,” Travis said. “He's done drunk so much that his brain is pickled."

Mabe was first charged with a DWI in December.

He was later charged with using valium and other controlled substances the night of his arrest.

In March, commissioners unanimously voted Mabe out as chairman.

Mabe mostly sat quietly during the meeting.

He shook his head no when commissioners asked if he had anything to say to residents.

He didn't address reporters when they asked for comment.

Under the law, commissioners can only vote Mabe out if he commits a felony.

Chairman Mark Richardson says if Mabe is charged with a third DWI, the district attorney may then determine the charge as a felony.