Letter: Pierce deserved more for crimes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 2021

I feel compelled to respond to the recent article about Commissioner Pierce’s guilty plea.

One of my favorite movie scenes is the restaurant scene in “When Harry Met Sally” where Meg Ryan demonstrates a woman in absolute ecstasy and an older woman at a nearby table says, “I want what she’s having.” When I read the sentence Commissioner Pierce received, I said to myself, I’d like to see anyone else get that sentence.

Following what has to be the most degrading two-hour bodycam spectacle one could ever imagine following his traffic stop, which included reckless driving, speeding, and ultimately a DUI, I and many others feel betrayed by the criminal justice system.

The insulting language Commissioner Pierce used, his brandishing of his position of authority as a county commissioner to threaten the arresting officer’s job, his attempts to foil a breathalyzer test, his blood alcohol content at more than three times the legal limit and flaunting his social status goes beyond every social norm in existence.

Kudos to our Salisbury Police Department. The professionalism, patience, and extreme courtesies given to Mr. Pierce were worthy of the bodycam becoming a training film for all police departments. And yet, with all that said, the “sentence” doled-out to Commissioner Pierce was no jail time (suspended), plus lack of a stiff fine (totally absent), no BAIID installed in the vehicles to ensure no future drunken driving occurs and no supervised probation.

Yes, community service and suspension of driving privileges were there. But his resignation from his position as Rowan County commissioner should have been a no-brainer. One can’t betray his oath of office then receive a welcome back party.

My point is, wouldn’t we all want to get what Commissioner Pierce got for flagrant DUI abuse and other traffic infractions? Isn’t it sad that one is permitted to show the highest disrespect for one’s police department and let it be shrugged-off during sentencing? Must we be forced to admire his frat brothers and sister for their “no harm no foul welcome back commish” response. Sorry Mothers Against Drunk Driving but your efforts and pleas mean little here. Rowan County has been disgraced by this entire Craig Pierce fiasco.

We deserve much better.

— Mitchell Siegel