Officials from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, a county of more than 250,000 just north of San Francisco, confirmed Wednesday that their office is the California agency investigating suspended Wilmington Police Department detective Aricka Sidbury.
Up until Wednesday, the Wilmington Police Department declined to confirm that Marin County was investigating Sidbury or provide any information on the details of Sidbury’s suspension.
The investigation is still ongoing, according to Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, but he said the agency has been investigating since last November.
Schermerhorn declined to provide many details regarding the situation after consulting with officials in North Carolina. He stated that investigators from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office are now working with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation on this case, and that the alleged crime originated in Marin County.
Details about the victim weren’t released by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office other than the fact that the individual owns a business, according to Schermerhorn.
California investigators contacted Chief Donny Williams with the Wilmington Police Department last month to gather more information about Sidbury after she became the subject of the investigation, Schermerhorn said.
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As a result, Sidbury was suspended by Wilmington police on April 19, and in consultation with District Attorney Ben David, the SBI and North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys were brought in to investigate any potential crimes committed in North Carolina.
The SBI declined to confirm it was investigating Sidbury, stating in an email to the StarNews Wednesday that the agency couldn’t comment on investigations regarding specific individuals until they’re arrested, charged or indicted.
Schermerhorn added that the Wilmington Police Department is assisting the SBI in its investigation and that officials in Marin County are now sharing information on the investigation with state officials in North Carolina.
California officials didn’t state exactly what Sidbury is being investigated for, but according to an April 20 letter written by New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David, the alleged crime is “financial in nature.”
David and prosecutors in New Hanover County are still trying to gather information from California investigators about the exact nature of the allegations to determine the future of several pending cases Sidbury is involved in. As a violent crimes detective for Wilmington police, Sidbury has at least two murder trials and multiple other violent crime cases set to go to trial in the future, David told the StarNews Tuesday.
While none of the trials are soon, prosecutors need to learn more about the investigation to determine if Sidbury can still be used as a credible witness in the cases she’s investigated.
“Our job is to do justice not to convict at all costs, and we want to be assured that there’s no issue with someone’s veracity if they are the witness in a case,” David said. “We are confident that the work that she has done in these murder cases was done in tandem with a lot of other officers who are not in any way facing criminal charges or the prospect of internal affairs investigation.”
Sidbury, the daughter of Wilmington City Clerk Penelope Spicer-Sidbury, has been with the department since 2012. Three years ago, Sidbury was honored as one of Wilmington’s 40 under 40, an award reserved for those in the community who are helping the Cape Fear region prosper.