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STATE SUSPENDS HOG WEIGHER

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A Greenville man had his weigh master's license suspended by the N.C. Department of Agriculture for allegedly misrepresenting the number and weight of hogs delivered to a weighing station, officials said Thursday.

Emory Dale Lewis received his suspension notice Thursday, and his license was removed from Lundy Packing Co.'s Ayden hog buying station, the department said. Lewis had worked as a weigh master at the station for 21 years.Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham said license revocation is possible.

``At the present time, we have nothing to indicate that Lundy Packing Co. of Clinton had any involvement in the matter,' Graham said. ``Lundy has been cooperative in the investigation and in locating Lewis for the delivery of the suspension notice.'

Graham also said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has joined the investigation. He said the Pitt County district attorney's office will be contacted.

The state says that Lewis violated the state Weights and Measures Act of 1975 by misrepresenting the number and weight of hogs that a farmer delivered to the Ayden buying station. The farmer contacted the standards division, complaining that hog shipment figures from three transactions during the week of May 21 might have been altered.

By lowering a reported weight, the overall average weight of a shipment would increase and possibly put the hogs in a higher price range per pound. By increasing the head count, the average weight would decrease, and a lower average weight might be more desirable.

The farmer's shipment figures for three successive days were incorrect, said Ronald Murdock, program manager of the standards division's measurement section.

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