NC sheriff rules out right-wing activist as suspect in power outage after praying with her

A right-wing activist was investigated over a cryptic social media post claiming to know about the cause of a mass power outage in central North Carolina.

Emily Grace Rainey, a former U.S. Army psychological operations officer, posted about the outages that left nearly 40,000 customers without power, but Moore County sheriff Ronnie Fields told WRAL-TV that he prayed with her and determined her claims were not credible.

"Yes, we had to go and interview this young lady and have a word of prayer with her, but it turned out to be nothing," Fields said.

The sheriff asked the public not to post false or unverified claims about the outage, which was caused by gunshots at Duke Energy substations, because he said that took time away from their investigation.

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"The power is out in Moore County and I know why," claimed Rainey, who had urged her Facebook followers to contact the sponsors drag show scheduled in Southern Pines.

Rainey, who claims to be the head of the conservative Moore County Citizens for Freedom, confirmed that sheriff's deputies had questioned her about the posts and suggested the outages were connected to the drag show.

"God works in mysterious ways," Rainey posted. "I used the opportunity to tell them about the immoral drag show and the blasphemies screamed by its supporters. God is chastising Moore County. I thanked them for coming and wished them a good night. Thankful for the LEOs service, as always."

Fields said the outages were being investigated as a criminal matter but declined to say whether his office believed there was a link to the drag show.

Rainey resigned from her commission as an officer in October 2021 following a U.S. Army investigation into her involvement in leading a group from North Carolina to Washington, D.C., for a rally that led to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

She was charged in with injury to personal property after she removed yellow tape covering up playground equipment during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.