Bailey was insider before controversy

Career extends from county utilities to police to sheriff's office
Staff Reports,, Feb. 6, 2008

Daniel "Chipp" Bailey has spent most of his career in law enforcement in Mecklenburg County, yet until the recent sheriff's race he was virtually unknown outside law enforcement and county government offices.

Bailey, 59, was born in Charlotte, the son of a Methodist minister. By age 12, the Rev. Edwin Bailey was moving the family from church to church, mostly in N.C. towns.

Bailey considered marine biology after earning a biology degree at Pfeiffer College in 1970. Instead, he joined the county police department after a year of analyzing industrial wastewater for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department.

He briefly left the department to get a master's in criminal justice at the University of South Carolina and has spent his spare time over the years penning mystery novels, including "Justice Betrayed" and "Execute the Office."

In the 1980s, Bailey headed up public affairs for the old county police department. In that job, he was the face of the department, fielding questions from reporters and going on camera. When city and county police consolidated in 1993, he took on administrative work.

He was overseeing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's planning and research section when Jim Pendergraph was elected sheriff in 1994 and made Bailey his chief deputy. Some in local law enforcement circles say Bailey has been Pendergraph's "yes man."

Pendergraph denies the claim, saying in a recent interview: "I've brought a lot of things to him and he's talked me out of them," the former sheriff said. "Anyone who says he's my `yes man' isn't privy to those conversations."

When Pendergraph retired in December to take a job with the federal Homeland Security department, he recommended Bailey serve out the last three years of his term. That seemed a done deal until Nick Mackey, a little-known Charlotte attorney, overcame questions about his background and rallied enough support to be elected sheriff by the local Democratic party.

After months of controversy about whether the election was flawed, Bailey broke his silence Monday and e-mailed Mecklenburg County commissioners urging them to appoint him.

"Then and only then can the community begin to heal from this divisive process," he wrote.

Chipp Bailey, 59

• Biology degree, Pfeiffer College, 1970.

• Patrol officer, Mecklenburg County Police Department, 1972-1975.

• Master's in criminal justice at the University of South Carolina, 1976.

• Crime and budget analyst for police department, 1982-87.

• Administrative officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (and Mecklenburg County) police departments, 1987-94.

• Taught ethics and justice as adjunct professor at Pfeiffer University, 1996-2006.

• His mystery-writing Web site:

• His current salary is $142,857. Commissioners could consider a raise.

• Party: Democratic.

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