Commissioner will not face charges for bribery due to ‘insufficient evidence’

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, April 19, 2022

SALISBURY — The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys will not pursue criminal charges against Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce for bribery of a public official.

The State Bureau of Investigation initiated an investigation of Pierce based on allegations that he bribed a Rowan County District Court judge months before his court date for driving while intoxicated. Pierce pleaded guilty pursuant to Alford for misdemeanor DWI on Oct. 15 after being arrested and charged in late June.

Pierce told the Post that he was interviewed by the SBI about communication he sent to District Court Judge Marshall Bickett regarding a potential donation to his campaign if the judge decided to run for another seat. Pierce said Bickett decided not to run and therefore Pierce never contributed to his campaign. Pierce said there was “nothing there” to charge him with because he didn’t pay Bickett.

After completing its investigation, the SBI turned over its findings to the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. Kimberly Overton Spahos, executive director of the organization, told the Post that a review of all “information, materials, digital data, statements, interviews and reports” obtained during the investigation yielded “insufficient evidence to successfully pursue criminal charges” against Pierce. Spahos said she came to that conclusion while considering all the facts uncovered and any applicable law.

Pierce on Monday was unsurprised by the outcome of the investigation.

“I really didn’t concern myself with it,” Pierce said. 

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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