Former state lawmaker sent to jail in bail bonds company fight
Former state Rep. Robert Brawley, who ran a long-shot campaign for governor last year, was sentenced Friday to 15 days in jail on a contempt of court charge tied to a civil case brought against him by his business partners.Posted — Updated
Brawley, 73, was taken into custody immediately following the hearing in a Guilford County court room, according to attorneys on both sides of the case.
The underlying civil lawsuit figures into a long-standing battle between competing elements of the state's bail bonding industry, which Brawley has been financially involved in. Among other things Brawley, an Iredell County Republican who spent some 20 years in the state House, was accused by his partners of forging documents and sharing company financial information with a competitor.
Brawley's attorney in the case, Steven McCloskey, confirmed the contempt of court decision Friday but said he was limited from saying more by gag orders in the case.
"He got 15 days and was taken into custody immediately," McCloskey said.
Brawley also ran an unsuccessful race in 2004 to head the state's Department of Insurance, which regulates the bail bond industry.
Brawley has been in business with some of the same players who figured into the fight over bail bondsmen continuing education courses. Two companies, Premier Judicial Consultants and Cannon Surety, sued him over a litany of accusations, including fraud, libel, misrepresentation and corporate malfeasance, according to Mark Bibbs, an attorney for the group.
Bibbs, a Democrat who has run a couple of unsuccessful races for the statehouse, was back in the headlines earlier this year when the Secretary of State's Office accused him of lobbying the state legislature on behalf of bail bond companies without properly registering as a lobbyist.
Superior Court Judge John O. Craig III presided over Brawley's hearing Friday and sentenced the former lawmaker "immedtiately to an active sentence of 15 days in the Guilford County Jail," Bibbs said.
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