Local News

Person County awaits new DA as SBI probe continues

Posted March 1, 2010 4:40 p.m. EST
Updated March 1, 2010 6:45 p.m. EST

— Criminal cases in Person and Caswell counties are in limbo, following the retirement last week of District Attorney Joel Brewer.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been investigating Brewer since last fall, officials said, but the reason for the probe hasn't been disclosed. Brewer has told WRAL News that he is cooperating fully with the investigation.

SBI agents searched Brewer's office at the Person County Courthouse last week, but the search warrant isn't yet public record.

Roxboro attorney Jim Ramsey said Monday that he believes the warrant should remain sealed.

"They are assuming facts not in evidence. There are hearsay statements, and there are conclusions which really are not involved in the law," said Ramsey, who is familiar with the case and has seen court documents dealing with it.

The SBI investigation doesn't involve anyone else in the District Attorney's Office, and there is more than one accuser, Ramsey said.

"It's not nearly as serious as the media has made it out to be, and I think, when it washes out, people are going to be surprised at how minor it is," he said.

Brewer, who had been district attorney for about 30 years, couldn't be reached Monday for comment.

Gov. Beverly Perdue's office is reviewing candidates to name someone to fill the remainder of Brewer's term.

Ramsey said he hopes a replacement is named soon.

"I think we need a person who has experience, who has been there, who has tried cases," he said.