Local News

Warrant: Ex-Person DA impersonated officer

Posted March 9, 2010

— The former district attorney for Person and Caswell counties stopped drivers by flashing a gold badge and tried to use dismissed cases to win re-election, according to a search warrant filed Tuesday.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been investigating Joel Brewer since last fall, officials said, but the reason for the probe hadn't previously been disclosed. Brewer, who retired last month, has said he is cooperating fully with the investigation.

SBI agents searched Brewer's office at the Person County Courthouse two weeks ago, seizing two folders containing pink copies of citations, notes, phone messages and letters, according to the search warrant. One file was for male defendants, and the other was for female defendants, the warrant states.

Agents also seized a gold-colored badge with "District Attorney" and "J.H. Brewer" engraved on the shield, according to the warrant.

Two people told investigators that Brewer would keep the pink copies in his office after dismissing charges and would call the defendants up during a campaign to remind them of the cases. He wanted the defendants to vote for him and to work at the polls for him on Election Day, the people told investigators.

One of the witnesses told investigators that Brewer asked a female defendant for her phone number while dismissing a charge against her, and he wrote it on the pink copy of the citation, according to the warrant.

A woman told investigators that a man driving a dark-colored Corvette stopped her on the road, flashed a badge and threatened to cite her for various traffic offenses. When she protested, he got back into his car and left. She gave the license plate number of the Corvette to investigators, who traced it to Brewer, according to the warrant.

Another witness also reported seeing Brewer stop a driver by flashing the badge, according to the warrant.

SBI Special Agent W.R. Myers stated in his affidavit for the search warrant that there was probable cause to show Brewer impersonated a law enforcement officer and abused his authority.

Brewer tried to keep the search warrant sealed, but a Superior Court judge ruled Monday that all but two paragraphs of the warrant and affidavit should be filed as public record. If criminal charges are filed in the case, an unedited version of the documents will become public record, the judge ruled.

The two missing paragraphs involved information provided by a woman referred to in the affidavit as "Female #1."

Gov. Beverly Perdue's office is reviewing candidates to name someone to fill the remainder of Brewer's term.


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  • Freedom Defender Mar 10, 2010

    Ok Lightfoot3. I went to the trouble to name those accused of or convicted of corruption that I know about. This has nothing to do with who I think is less corrupt. It is to do with where the corruption has been found. But since you assure me that there is Republican government corruption at the state or local level in recent years I would ask you to do as I did and name them. I can't think of any. Perhaps you can.

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 10, 2010

    “I seem to detect a pattern here. Does anyone else see it?” – Freedom Defender

    Yep. The pattern is that you turn a blind eye to Republican corruption. I’m amazed that some people think one set of politicians is less corrupt than another.

  • Freedom Defender Mar 10, 2010

    Meg Scott Phipps (D)
    Mike Easley (D)
    Jim Black (D)
    Michael Decker (R to D)
    John Edwards (D)
    Mike Nifong (D)
    Joel Brewer (D) Hmm...I seem to detect a pattern here. Does anyone else see it? "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." This is why I will not vote Democrat for a state held office in NC. They have had a strangle hold on power for over 100 years. To my knowledge there have only been 3 Republican Governors in the history of this state. And the General Assembly has been largely controled by the Democrats. It is high time for a change here.

  • didisaythat Mar 10, 2010

    He is not a Democrate or a Republican...He Is A POLITICIAN. We have allowed the most important offices in this state and county be corrupted by these criminals. We need to stop letting these elected officials win because they had the most money. Did anyone see how much the Obama Campain cost? 1 billion dollars for that grass roots campaign. Put limits on the money you can spend and we may get better candidates then the ones out for themselves.

  • 007KnightRider Mar 10, 2010

    I despise folks who think they are above the law, thinking they can use their ability to get by. Just another DA out of the network. I hope he gets ample jail time.

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 10, 2010

    “He is a Democrat!!” - Redneck Fun

    So why is he acting like a Republican? Maybe he is a DINO. (insert BIG smiley!)

  • lvhv2003 Mar 10, 2010

    I bet he will serve no time in jail. He'll probably get probation and not even have to serve all of it. This is an example of the broken and corrupt who are supposed to be held to the highest ethical standard serving our very broken criminal justice system

  • JAKOFALLTRADES Mar 10, 2010

    this is not even the tip of the iceberg in this case!!

  • Redneck Fun Mar 10, 2010

    "Prime candidate for the next GOP governor of NC." broken_arrow_91W

    Maybe you should think before you speak. He is a Democrat!!

  • poorman Mar 10, 2010

    I just can't figure why they let him retire . They should have put him out on paid leave pending the investigation, and fired him if he is guilty. But no, they let him retire with all the benefits. I'm sure they would have trated everyone the same . HA!