Local/State

Former Durham DA argues against forced removal

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lawyers for a former North Carolina district attorney stripped of her job for conduct that raised public doubts about fair justice is trying to reclaim her job in the state Court of Appeals.

Former Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline's lawyers say their case will establish virtually every guideline and precedent for how district attorneys may be subject to removal.

They told the court Wednesday that the law used to remove Cline is unconstitutional and that her comments were protected free speech.

Cline lost her position last March after Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood said Cline went overboard with her repeated public criticisms of Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

Cline publically feuded with Hudson for months and accused him of bias against her in cases. In court filings, she went so far as to call the judge dishonest and corrupt. She asked that he be barred from hearing criminal cases in Durham County in a complaint to the Judicial Standards Commission.

The commission in September cleared Hudson of allegations raised by Cline.

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