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Judge to rule on Durham DA's fate Friday

The future of Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline's career rests in a judge's hands following the conclusion Wednesday of a rare inquiry into whether she should be removed from office. Watch Friday's hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m. on WRAL.com.

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Durham DA Tracey Cline in court
DURHAM, N.C. — A Superior Court judge plans to rule Friday morning on whether Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline should be removed from office for publicly criticizing another judge.
Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood on Wednesday concluded a four-day inquiry into Cline's conduct and whether it met the standard under a state law for her removal. (Watch Hobgood's decision on Cline's future beginning at 9:30 a.m. on WRAL.com.)

Durham attorney Kerry Sutton filed an affidavit last month accusing Cline of improper conduct following Cline's repeated attacks on Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson in recent months.

Cline has alleged in court filings that Hudson is biased against her and her office and asked to have him barred from handling criminal cases in Durham County. Two other judges have found her complaints to be groundless.

Hobgood suspended Cline last month, pending the inquiry, saying there was probable cause to support the notion that she had "brought the office of the Durham County District Attorney and the entire Durham County justice system into disrepute."

Retired Superior Court Judge Leon Stanback has been serving as district attorney since Feb. 1.