Local News

Former DA convicted in wife-hiring scheme

Posted June 18, 2018 5:03 p.m. EDT

— A former prosecutor was found guilty Monday of fraud and obstruction of justice for providing a no-show job for a colleague's wife.

Jurors deliberated for about 10 hours over two days before convicting Wallace Bradsher of obtaining property by false pretense, aiding and abetting obtaining property by false pretense, felony obstruction of justice, misdemeanor obstruction of justice and failure to discharge the duties of his office.

Bradsher, who resigned a year ago as district attorney of Person and Caswell counties, was acquitted of felony conspiracy and a third obstruction of justice charge.

Craig Blitzer, who resigned last year as Rockingham County district attorney, testified 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 encouraged Cindy Blitzer to focus on her classes as she worked to complete her nursing degree.

Cindy Blitzer said she kept asking for assignments from Bradsher after a child homicide case was taken away from her in early 2016, but her requests were ignored. She said Bradsher was aware that she wasn't doing any work for months but was still getting paid.

Bradsher, who has been representing himself, has called the case "an administrative failure" that didn't rise to the level of a crime.

But prosecutors called Bradsher the "puppet master" in the scheme, saying he hatched the plan and then tried to orchestrate a coverup once the State Bureau of Investigation began looking into Cindy Blitzer's work.

Jurors will return Tuesday morning to consider whether aggravating factors should be considered in the sentence Bradsher receives.

Craig Blitzer pleaded guilty last year to failure to discharge the duties of his office and is awaiting sentencing. As part of his plea deal, he paid back the $48,000 investigators determined his wife was improperly paid.