Local News

Former DA loses law license, gets jail time in wife-hiring scheme

Posted June 19, 2018 10:48 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:43 p.m. EDT

— A former prosecutor will experience prison life, starting next week, for providing a no-show job to a colleague's wife.

Wallace Bradsher, who resigned a year ago as district attorney of Person and Caswell counties, was convicted Monday on obtaining property by false pretense, aiding and abetting obtaining property by false pretense, two counts of obstruction of justice and failure to discharge the duties of his office.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway sentenced Bradsher to four to 14 months in prison on the aiding and abetting charge, and he ordered that Bradsher serve the sentence in protective custody at the Person County jail, beginning next Monday.

Bradsher received a sentence of six to 17 months in prison on the obstruction and failure to discharge duties charges, but Ridgeway suspended the sentence to two years on probation and 250 hours of community service. The judge withheld any sentence for the obtaining property by false pretense charge.

Ridgeway also ordered that Bradsher be disbarred for his conduct and ordered him to immediately surrender his law license.

"To those to whom much is given, much is expected," the judge said in handing down the sentence.

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 represented himself during the trial, had called the lack of oversight for Cindy Blitzer "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.

"He held a public office and had a position of trust granted to him by the people of this state, and he breached that trust," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Latour said before sentencing.

"If I were, in fact, guilty, I would agree with everything Mr. Latour said. However, you know that I have contested that and contend I am not guilty," Bradsher told Ridgeway. "However, I'm part of the system where I respect each phase of the system. The jury has spoken, and I accept that judgment."

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 surrendered his law license and paid back the $48,000 investigators determined his wife was improperly paid.