The chairman of the NC Republican Party, Claude Pope, sent out the press release below calling for SBI agent Mark Isley to be fired. It's been 20 years since Isley fabricated a phony confession and put an innocent man in prison, and Pope (no, not Art Pope, the other right-wing Pope leader) questioned why the attorney general hasn't taken action.
Pope noted that he rarely sees eye-to-eye with the News & Observer, and likewise noting that we don't often align with Pope, we agree this serious issue deserves immediate attention.
Here's the text of Pope's press release:
NC GOP Chairman Claude Pope responded to the Raleigh News and Observer’s editorial regarding SBI agent Mark Isley. In 1993, Agent Isley put an innocent man, Floyd Brown, in jail for 14 years by fabricating a phony confession. Brown is mentally disabled with an IQ of near 50 was taken advantage of by Isley and took the blame for the beating death of an Anson County retired school teacher. Attorney General Roy Cooper needs to explain to the citizens of North Carolina why State Bureau of Investigation agent Mark Isley should keep his job.
“While I rarely agree with the News and Observer, I do agree with their call to terminate SBI Agent Mark Isely,” said Chairman Pope. “Allowing this type of behavior to go unpunished is outrageous and shows a serious lack of accountability. This shameful episode has cost our state over $7 million, which is a lot of money that other statewide priorities are seriously missing out on.”
“Roy Cooper has been preoccupied by criticizing laws that his job charges him to defend while his department appears apathetic to the actions that lead to the imprisonment of an innocent man,” Chairman Pope continued. “The Attorney General of our great state should show some accountability within his department and fire SBI Agent Mark Isley immediately.”