RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – Pitt County native Portia Pittman was only 22 years old when she was convicted of accessory after the fact to armed robbery.
Pittman says she was in a domestic violence relationship at the time, where she was in the car while her partner was robbing a bank with a gun.
She believed it was all in the name of love until she was sitting in Orange County jail for six months.
“It changed my view of love and my trust in people as well,” said Pittman. “It made me love and view people differently when they were looking to be in my life.”
She realized she had to change herself and her surroundings, so she chased her passion in the Legislative Building.
Her pursuit of passion got her a position as a legislative assistant in the North Carolina House of Representatives and an author of five children’s books.
Wednesday, she got a call from Governor Cooper’s office that she was granted a pardon of forgiveness for her conviction.
“This is not a process where they are telling you, hey, we are going to call you and check on you. You really have to be living the life that you are telling everybody that you are living. That’s what I’ve been doing. There is nothing to hide from,” Pittman explained.
Calvin Mercer, a former Greenville city council member says he believed in her potential from the moment she approached him to work as his campaign manager.
According to Governor Cooper’s office, the commutations and pardons were selected by the circumstances of the crimes, length of sentences, records in prison, and readiness to reenter communities.