Local News

Ex-DA's wife says former boss knew she wasn't working, was getting paid

Posted June 7, 2018 6:10 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:43 p.m. EDT

Wallace Bradsher, former district attorney for Person and Caswell counties, makes the opening statement in his fraud trial on June 4, 2018.

— The wife of a former state prosecutor said Thursday that she cashed paychecks for months without doing any work for another former prosecutor.

Cindy Blitzer said Wallace Bradsher, who resigned a year ago as district attorney of Person and Caswell counties, was well aware that she wasn't working and even tried to cover it up when the State Bureau of Investigation started looking into her employment.

Bradsher faces charges of felony conspiracy, obtaining property by false pretense, aiding and abetting obstruction of justice and failure to discharge duties.

Blitzer's husband, Craig Blitzer, resigned last year as Rockingham County district attorney and pleaded guilty to failure to discharge the duties of his office.

Craig Blitzer testified this week that he and Bradsher agreed in early 2015 to hire each other's wives to get around state ethics rules against prosecutors hiring spouses. He said Bradsher allowed Cindy Blitzer to attend nursing school and handle family errands, such as taking her son to school and picking him up, while continuing to record hours.

Cindy Blitzer said Thursday that she was working on a child homicide case for Bradsher, but after he took all of the files from her, she was left with nothing to do. Repeated requests for other assignments were ignored, she said.

"I didn't feel right being there with no work," she said.

Craig Blitzer said he conveyed his wife's concerns to Bradsher, and he said she should just concentrate on her studies. She was trying to finish up a nursing degree at the same time.

So, Cindy Blitzer said, she went to school while continuing to record 40-hour workweeks in the state payroll system as an employee of Bradsher's office.

"It was not the right thing to do, that is for certain," she said, defending her decision at the time because she needed money to pay bills. "I regret doing it, deeply regret it."

She said she likewise regrets having two of her husband's staffers help her with online math courses she needed in her nursing studies.

Bradsher, who is representing himself, questioned Cindy Blitzer for hours about who she discussed things with and who entered her hours in the payroll system in an effort to show he didn't directly supervise her and didn't realize she wasn't actually doing any work.

"As of the time of your termination, you had not disclosed to anyone that you were not working, other than Mr. Blitzer," Bradsher said.

"You knew I was not working," Cindy Blitzer replied.

As far as any conspiracy, he's tried to pin it on the Blitzers, questioning both of them this week about financial difficulties they were in at the time.

The SBI began looking into the work arrangement of Cindy Blitzer and Pam Bradsher in 2016 after an assistant district attorney in Rockingham County and a staffer in Wallace Bradsher's office tipped off authorities that the women had been paid for work they didn't perform.

Cindy Blitzer said she wanted to quit when she learned of the SBI investigation, but Wallace Bradsher told her wanted to "take it to 12," meaning a jury trial. She said he told her to tell investigators he had her working on special projects.

"I didn't do any special projects, and I was not going to say I did," she testified.

A former member of Bradsher's staff also testified Thursday. Tyler Henderson said that, after Pam Bradsher left Craig Blitzer's office for another job, he "slid over" into her job, continuing to work in Roxboro but being paid by Blitzer.

Investigators determined that Pam Bradsher did the work she was paid to do but that Cindy Blitzer earned $48,000 from her no-show job.

Craig Blitzer has repaid the state the $48,000 as part of his plea agreement. He is still awaiting sentencing.