Local News

Wake District Court Judge Reprimands Clerk Of Court

Posted May 20, 2004 5:44 a.m. EDT

— The chief District Court judge in Wake County handed down an order reprimanding the clerk of Superior Court.

In an administrative order, Chief District Court Judge Joyce Hamilton directed Wake County Clerk Of Court Jan Pueschel to fix problems between her office and the Worthless Check Court. Earlier in May, Pueschel criticized Jeff Rowland, the magistrate who runs that court.

Hamilton found Pueschel's complaints about Rowland "unfounded." She goes on to say that "Pueschel has not timely performed the duties of her office with regards to the Worthless Check Court."

"It's a very serious document. It's a judicial order. It means the orders will be followed," said Wake County Chief Magistrate Gary Wills, who oversees Rowland. "The criticism of Magistrate Judge Rowland, I think, is misguided. I think our clerk has been misled."

Court officials told WRAL the order is not only serious, but drastic.

"It's quite unusual. Certainly, I guess stern times takes stern measures is the best way to put it," Wills said.

Thursday afternoon, Puschel sent WRAL a statement, saying, "I disagree with several statements that Judge Hamilton noted."

She goes on to say: "Everything that Judge Hamilton ordered were activities that were already assigned by the Clerk's office ... and I am grateful that she signed the Administrative Order."

If Pueschel fails to comply with the order, a petition could be filed to remove her from office.

It is not the first time that Peuschel has faced public criticism. In November, former employees complained to WRAL that Pueschel discriminated against them and treated them unprofessionally. She denied those allegations.