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Sheriff's office won't charge Cawthorn for having knife at School Board meeting

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying it was made aware of allegations that U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn had taken a knife into a Henderson County School Board meeting and that at its discretion had declined to bring a criminal misdemeanor charge.

Here's the statement:

"On Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at approximately 14:10 hrs the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of photos and allegations concerning Congressman Cawthorn’s alleged possession of a knife at a Henderson County School Board meeting on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as N.C. General Statutes, allow for officer discretion concerning most misdemeanor offenses. This discretion considers the totality of the circumstances to include the intent of a person.

"Although unacceptable, occasionally a person inadvertently possesses a knife on educational property or other property where such possession is prohibited. During such an encounter, such as a sporting event, it is not uncommon for a HCSO Deputy Sheriff to issue a verbal warning and have the knife and or person removed from the premises.

"The Henderson County Public Schools Administrative Office building, located on Fourth Avenue West in Hendersonville, has now been clearly marked as an educational facility which prohibits weapons on or in the property at all times. Congressman Cawthorn is now aware that the administrative offices of the school system is considered educational property and NO WEAPONS are allowed.

"Please let this serve as a reminder to all citizens that weapons are prohibited on ALL school campuses, as well as ALL properties owned and or operated by the school system. This prohibition applies at all times in the state of North Carolina.
We appreciate members of the public working together to keep our schools and community safe.

"The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office will have no further comment regarding this incident."