Local News

Durham DA suspended from duty

Posted January 27, 2012
Updated January 28, 2012

— A Franklin County judge decided Friday to suspend Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline from her duties pending a hearing next month.

Cline's accusations of bias against Durham County Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson put her own performance under scrutiny in recent months and led one defense attorney to push for her ouster.

Timeline: Durham DA Tracey Cline's case

Defense attorney Kerry Sutton filed an affidavit that alleges Cline has "brought the office of the Durham County District Attorney and the entire Durham County justice system into disrepute."

The filing is the first step required by law to remove Cline from office. 

Cline's accusations earn her suspension Cline's accusations earn her suspension

On Friday, Sutton said, “It’s an on-going process, and by the time we get to the end everyone has a chance to make their case.” She and Cline will get that opportunity Feb. 13.

Cline has repeatedly accused Hudson in recent months of bias against her and has asked to have him barred from handling criminal cases in Durham County. Two other Superior Court judges have found Cline's complaints to be groundless.

Hudson, the chief judge in Durham County, handed the complaint over to Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood, who on Friday suspended Cline with pay.

Marcia Morey, a former assistant district attorney in Durham and current District Court Judge, said “It’s a sad day for Durham. The justice system is supposed to be working for the people of this county."

The clash not only puts Cline on the sidelines, it could cause chaos in her office, according to Irv Joyner, a law professor at North Carolina Central University.

"You have a feud or an attack involving the top two elected officials in our court system here, and that does not look good," Joyner said. "It's not good for our profession nor is it good for Durham County."


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  • mm4218 Feb 2, 2012

    So glad I left Durham County and NC.

  • CarolinianByChoice Jan 30, 2012

    @Sherlock, Judge Hobgood ordered her suspended without pay . . .

  • Sherlock Jan 30, 2012

    Gets to set at home and get paid, boy that is a great place to work,,, and she will be back in a month or two.....

  • samr Jan 30, 2012

    I still can't believe that people are so caught up in race to try to argue that there is a racial element to this case. They need to get the head out of their proverbial caboose. How can a dispute between two people of the same race be a racial thing?

  • CarolinianByChoice Jan 27, 2012

    @MizzZeta: yes she is - makes you wonder, huh?

  • boneymaroney13 Jan 27, 2012


    His name is Dave Saks. He would be excellent for the job. But, some would not like him - he's white.

  • westernwake1 Jan 27, 2012

    "Actually many fine lawyers graduated from NCCU - she is just not one of them." - Tax Man

    I agree. There have been a number of highly respected and brillant legal graduates from NCCU.

  • boneymaroney13 Jan 27, 2012

    casp3r - that just shows ignorance. Race put her in office. Race did not suspend her. Judge Hudson, who is black, gave the case to Judge Hobgood, who is white. Your ignorance shines.

  • boneymaroney13 Jan 27, 2012

    This is race based! Look at the racial voting data as to who voted for whom! You can't be that blind.

  • MizzZeta Jan 27, 2012

    This is neither a race nor gender issue...she's acting more like a woman scorned...