Local News

Ousted Durham DA seeking judge's email

Posted March 13, 2012 4:05 p.m. EDT
Updated March 13, 2012 4:49 p.m. EDT

Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline speaks during a Feb. 13, 2012, hearing to determine whether she is removed from office.

— Two weeks after she was forced from office for repeatedly criticizing him, former Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline is again at odds with Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

On Tuesday, Cline asked for a mediator to resolve a dispute with Hudson over his email.

Cline said in her request that she asked Hudson last year for copies of his emails and received only a portion of them. Hudson told her at the time that releasing other messages could compromise criminal cases, according to the court filing.

Cline said that most of the cases involved are no longer pending, and one defense attorney has spoken publicly about a case and given information to the media, waiving any privilege.

The defense attorney isn't named in the court filing, but Cline claimed in a recent four-day judicial inquiry into her conduct that Hudson often showed favoritism to attorney Lisa Williams at the expense of prosecutors.

Cline said she reiterated her request to Hudson last week for his email but got no response. Under state law, a mediator can be appointed to resolve the dispute.

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

Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ordered on March 2 that Cline be removed from office, saying that he found enough evidence in the judicial inquiry that she had brought the "entire Durham County justice system into disrepute" by her repeated attacks on Hudson.

Cline is appealing the ruling.

Retired Superior Court Judge Leon Stanback is serving as interim  district attorney.