Local News

Willoughby reflects on long career as Wake DA

Posted March 31, 2014
Updated April 1, 2014

— Monday marked District Attorney Colon Willoughby's last day as Wake County's top prosecutor, and he said he believes he's leaving his office and the county in good shape.

"I think we've done two things. I think we helped instill public confidence in the courts in what we do," he said. "Second, I think we've left a legacy of a lot of good lawyers who've come through this office and were trained here and have gone on to be judges and lawyers in private practice and other responsible things, and I'm proud of that."

Willoughby is leaving office to join McGuireWoods LLP, where he will handle cases involving government regulatory and criminal investigations.

Willoughby was first appointed acting district attorney in 1983 and was elected to the position in 1986.

Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Wake County District Judge Ned Mangum to carry out the remainder of Willoughby's term, which expires Jan. 1.

Six people are seeking election to Willoughby's seat, including three assistant district attorneys – Jeff Cruden, Jefferson G. Griffin and Boz Zellinger – and Wake County Clerk of Superior Court Lorrin Freeman. Attorneys Terry A. Swaim and John Walter Bryant are also candidates.


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  • sinenomine Apr 1, 2014

    BMAC813, your Holden Beach misadventure was apparently in civil court. The district attorney has nothing to do with civil court and he certainly isn't "in charge" there.

  • bmac813 Apr 1, 2014

    NO I was talking about going to COURT, I don't care if it is CIVIL or CRIMINAL, It's not a CRIME to STEAL someone's equipment?
    You tell me it's not a CRIME to MAKE-UP someone's CHECK's and Cash them?
    You go and smell the ROSES. Because they smell like You Know what.
    SINENOMINE, I was talking about the COURT SYSTEM, NOT Willoughby.
    He was still in CHARGE, Tell me he didn't look over the cases. His OFFICE was in CHARGE.
    One case, I went to Court, The Judge said that the Man who went filed bankrupt moved to Holden Beach, SO, I had to go there and FILE ,for him to COME TO Court. Went, Than I was told I had to Have the Hearing there, I said the Job was in Wake , he lived in wake and I was from Wake, SORRY, went there again to HOLDEN BEACH, Told that I was awarded the Verdict, BUT that the Court would NOT HEP ME COLLECT MY MONEY, Told to Go To Small Claims, ANOTHER $50. Was Called , Three time and told to Send $50. finally the sheriff called ask if I still wanted my Money.

  • Benjamin Throop Apr 1, 2014
    user avatar

    At a recent job interview I was asked a leading question: what do I think of Colon Willoughby. I said that when I was a deputy clerk of court I found him to be honest, hard-working, genial, kind and a man of deep thoughts. Never rushing to conclusions and always weighing each case and acting in good conscience and with the law.

    I didn't get the job, but I'd also not take back a word. I knew from the question's inflection that I'd disagree with the fellow. Still, how could I turn my back on a friend? I am sure I'll get a job soon, and without compromising myself or belittling those whom I admire.

    Our next DA, whomever they be, will have some big shoes to fill. I am sure they too, having seen Colon's example, will always protect our interests to the best of their ability.

    Lastly, for the fellow who complained about Colon being a Democrat let me say just three words to you: Speaker Jim Black.

  • disgusted2010 Apr 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Wake up and smell the roses, what you are talking about is CIVIL not CRIMINAL. The DA has nothing to do with CIVIL and he/she cannot prosecute someone for stealing your trucks if they are not arrested.

  • Steve Orringer Apr 1, 2014
    user avatar

    In my case, the child apologized that he was sorry and his own mother made him lie. Yet they covered it up with Intimidation charges instead of getting to the truth. See -falseconvictions.com. This is one shocking case.

  • Moist Apr 1, 2014

    He should reflect on all the murder cases he prosecuted that are getting reversed on appeal.

  • Tim Blanchard Apr 1, 2014
    user avatar

    This guy was a mess. The Greg Taylor event should have cost this guy his law license. He and the state lab willfully ignored evidence and cost the taxpayers 4.6M and Greg years. Then the Brad Cooper trial was a complete sham with circumstantial evidence. Now Jason Young is getting 3rd trial. The system is corrupt and this democrat leads the pack of corruption and incompetence.

  • sinenomine Apr 1, 2014

    BMAC813, what does your comment have to do with Willoughby? Do you actually think he had anything to do with the bankruptcy court or with the North Carolina Secretary of State's office, which is where you file the paperwork to form a corporation?

  • bmac813 Apr 1, 2014

    I have been to Court 6 Times for Builders going bankrupt on Me. Paid Lawyers anywhere fro $650.00 to $7,800.00 and NEVER COLLECTED a PENNY.
    Bought all the Concrete, Paid for the Labor, Houses Sold, Builders got their Money, Lawyers got their Money and I NEVER GOT A PENNY.
    Three Trucks Stolen, No One ever Arrested But My INSURANCE keep going up.
    Twice, people Passing phony Checks made out in My name, One man arrested But Never PUNISHED.
    Don't anyone tell me about the COURT SYSTEM IN WAKLE COUNTY. How can a Builder go Bankrupt and the Next week be Building under another Name, OR building on another Builders licenses???

  • LocalYokel Apr 1, 2014

    Assaults and murders happen daily on public roads due to failures of the justice system led by Willoughby. As part of the public I have to say I have zero confidence in the courts for keeping public safe from bad drivers. Remember the "noisy muffler" charge to let bad drivers off the hook systematically? Justice has not been served and our roads kill and injure people frequently as a result of this weak justice.