Local News

Durham DA hires attorney, seeks another delay in court hearing

Posted February 16, 2012

Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline speaks during a Feb. 13, 2012, hearing to determine whether she is removed from office.

— Embattled Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline has hired a Pinehurst law firm as she tries to fend off an effort to remove her from office, and the lawyers have asked for a delay in the case.

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

Cline has repeatedly accused Superior Court Judge Orlando 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.

Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood suspended Cline with pay last month, saying there was probable cause to support Sutton's claims. A hearing was supposed to be held on the issue Monday, but Hobgood delayed it until next week because Cline is recovering from pneumonia.

On Wednesday, she hired the firm of Van Camp, Meacham & Newman to represent her in the case. She earlier said she was having trouble finding an attorney who didn't have a conflict of interest because of ties to parties in the case or potential witnesses.

James Van Camp has asked Hobgood for a Friday hearing to request another delay in the case so he can have time to prepare a defense for Cline.

"Because this case is both unique and special and because of the dramatic, personal tensions inherent to the allegations set for in the affidavit, an unnecessarily expedient hearing can only risk Ms. Cline being merely prepared to offer a mercurial defense based on emotion rather than a calm, rational defense based on facts," Van Camp wrote in his motion.


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  • westernwake1 Feb 17, 2012

    "What is amazing to me everyone wants to say the D A is wrong but what about the judge" - gphotohound2

    As outlined in multiple articles, the hearing to remove a DA from office must occur within 30 days of the judge receiving the paperwork by state law.

    Cline would greatly appreciate the judge pushing the hearing beyond 30 days which means the motion would be dropped and have to be re-filed - adding further delay into the process. Just how long should Tracey Cline by collecting a paycheck?

    Any DA who can not find adequate legal representation within a week and shows up in court rambling allegations against the N&O is not fit to serve in office.

  • gphotohound2 Feb 17, 2012

    What is amazing to me everyone wants to say the D A is wrong but what about the judge . Edwards got a long delay doesn't the D A get the same help . I forgot Edwards has a bad heart condition and can't sit down in court . HA HA

  • zile1porkey Feb 17, 2012

    First place I did not accuse him I asked the question had anyone read what was on the web that always seems to be a problem with people respond they don't read. Read first grasp then respond. Thanks and Jay pardon accepted thanks for re-reading and realzing it was a question.

  • jayhurst Feb 16, 2012

    zile1porkey, I've re-read your post and may have misunderstood a question as an accusation. If so, I beg pardon.

    I do plead with folks not to bandy about these kinds of accusations, reputations mights never recover. Remember Richard Jewell, the Olympic bombing "person of interest" who was in fact a hero after all (but never got back on his feet)?

  • jayhurst Feb 16, 2012

    Until there are facts and citations to support zile1porkey's accusation, we must accept the State Bar's public account that James Van Camp (admitted 1966) has "No public discipline."

    Certainly I will consider the two YouTube videos I've found from 2010, from a gentleman who alleges that, "Although Van Camp has been formally investigated for trafficking cocaine, and murder, all bow down to him at the Moore County Courthouse."

  • zile1porkey Feb 16, 2012

    Has WRAL investigated the story of Van Camp Pinehurst drug dealer lawyer. Wow someone needs to is it true he was disbarred in the 1990's for being caught with a plane load of cocaine. There is a video on utube regarding this and his law creditials. She may have hired the wrong attorney.

  • stormtrooper76 Feb 16, 2012

    I hope an extension is granted. I would like to see ALL of the facts on the table, not just the one's the media has put out for us to see.

  • warbirdlover Feb 16, 2012

    I'm from Moore county, Van Camp isn't cheap, hope she has real deep ockets or she will be a bankruptsy court

  • samr Feb 16, 2012

    So you support a DA that is dishonest, abuses the power of her office and is unprepared for hearings that she has known about for months as long as she is trying to put criminals behind bars? Get a clue.

  • westernwake1 Feb 16, 2012

    "I will support any DA that would go to the lengths that she has gone to put criminals behind bars." - didisaythat

    Filing false paperwork, lying in court, hiding information, abusing the justice system, making absurd allegations, filing paperwork full of spelling and grammar errors, never citing the appropriate legal statues, rambling endlessly in court about persecution from the N&O, forcing subpoena's on over 100 people in her personal vendetta in an attempt to abuse them.... the list is endless.

    Yeah this is the length that she will go to in order to put innocent people behind bars. Exactly what you want in a DA, eh?

    What part of "not fit to serve" is difficult to understand?