Asheville licensee LEO leaves Madison sheriff’s office, hasn’t been certified

MARSHALL — Anthony Sorangelo, a former Asheville police officer fired for punching a handcuffed man in the face who was later hired by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office before resigning earlier this year, has not been certified to work in North Carolina after he was fired from the APD in September 2020, according to the state’s Department of Justice.

According to Nazneen Ahmed of the NCDOJ, Sorangelo’s certification in North Carolina expired in September 2020 after he was fired from the APD.

“Mr. Sorangelo was certified with the Asheville PD from January 14, 2016 to September 25, 2020,” Ahmed said via email. “He is no longer certified with the Criminal Justice Standards Commission, but he was sworn in with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff on 12/15/2020. His certification with the Sheriff’s Commission is waiting.”

The Criminal Justice Standards Commission issues certification to every law enforcement officer employed by an agency in North Carolina.

According to Ahmed, Soorangelo’s certification lapsed following his dismissal from the APD.

“To be certified, you must be employed by a law enforcement agency — so no longer being employed at Asheville PD would lead to no longer being certified,” she said.

Sorangelo was fired by the APD on September 24, 2020, for what Chief David Zack called violations of the APD’s Use of Force Policy. In firing him, Zack also cited a misdemeanor assault charge against Sorangelo for hitting the man, who was lying on his back handcuffed in a squad car. The blow reportedly knocked the man out.

The incident could be seen in body camera video obtained by the court clerk and published by the Citizen Times. The charge was later dismissed.

On the side of Sheriff Buddy Harwood

Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood said he was unaware of Sorangelo’s failure to certify.

“When I hire you and send a package, and then during the process, training standards send me information as they update your training packages,” Harwood said. “At no time did I receive any cease and desist information on Soorangelo’s package. Absolutely not. They would have mailed something and sent it to him as well.”

Harwood hired Soorangelo on Dec. 15, 2020, less than two months after he was fired from the APD, according to a public records request from the sheriff’s office.

Sorangelo worked as a detective and earned $44,816 a year, according to the file provided last April.

According to Harwood, Soorangelo is seeking employment at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina.

Lt. Ryan Flood, a public information officer with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina, said Soorangelo had not yet been sworn in as a GCSO deputy, but was in the process. recruitment for a position of deputy sheriff within the agency.

The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy oversees law enforcement certification in the state.

According to the sheriff, Soorangelo informed him that he made the decision to leave because he didn’t want to be “a distraction” before the May 17 primary election.

“He came to me very early and said he didn’t want to distract him (or) the Madison County Sheriff’s Office during election time, and he gave his two weeks notice,” said Harwood. “He didn’t want to do anything to discredit this agency or draw attention to himself. That’s why he left. That’s the kind of guy Sorangelo is. If I thought for a second that Sorangelo was guilty of assaulting this individual out of malice and hatred, I would not have hired him.”

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