Local News

Former Person County DA charged in SBI probe

Posted June 17, 2010 3:31 p.m. EDT
Updated June 17, 2010 10:04 p.m. EDT

— The former district attorney for Person and Caswell counties was charged Thursday with nine misdemeanor charges stemming from a State Bureau of Investigation probe.

Joel Brewer is accused of stopping drivers by flashing a gold badge and using dismissed cases to win votes in his re-election campaigns.

Court documents filed Thursday afternoon show Brewer was charged with seven misdemeanor counts of assault on a female for allegations of inappropriate touching and kissing.

He was also charged with one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer and one count of willfully failing to discharge duties for allegedly directing an assistant district attorney to dismiss a case against a woman with whom Brewer had been trying to pursue a relationship.

The alleged offenses date to July 2008.

In another search warrant also made public Thursday, a witness told investigators that Brewer kept a file of minor citations he dismissed and during past elections, called the offenders and ask them for their vote and help working the polls.

At least two of the seven women accusing Brewer of unwanted advances or touching them inappropriately work in the district attorney's office, WRAL confirmed Thursday night.

Brewer, who was not arrested on the charges, declined to comment Thursday and referred all questions to his attorneys, George Daniel and Butch Williams. Daniel said he could not comment.

He has a court date set for July 8.

Brewer retired in February amid the SBI probe, which began last fall, and unsuccessfully fought to keep details of a search of his office at the Person County Courthouse from being released.

SBI agents searched the office in February and seized two folders containing pink copies of citations, notes, phone messages and letters, according to a search warrant released returned in March. One file was for male defendants, and the other was for female defendants, the warrant states.

Agents also seized a gold-colored badge with "District Attorney" and "J.H. Brewer" engraved on the shield, according to the warrant.