Six indicted on DWI fixing charges

March 31, 2009 9:51:53 AM PDT
The attorneys and court officials charged with helping cover up DWI cases appeared in court Tuesday morning.Van Sauls, one of the attorneys accused, turned himself in to authorities earlier this morning -- before his court appearance.

Sauls, former Johnston deputy clerk of court Portia Snead and criminal defense attorney Chad Lee arrived separately with their attorneys.

All three and three additional officers of the court are facing felony obstruction of justice charges. The State alleges the six used pre-signed dismissal forms and faked information to get drunken driving cases dismissed illegally.

Former Johnston County prosecutor Cindy Jaeger is scheduled to turn herself in Wednesday morning.

None of the defendants or their attorneys offered comments to the media Tuesday.

Monday a Johnston County grand jury indicted the attorneys and court officials on charges they conspired to dismiss DWI charges.

Special prosecutors with Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office brought the charges after an investigation by State Bureau of Investigation agents into cases that were allegedly dismissed using forms signed by former assistant district attorney Cynthia Jaeger and then filed after she had resigned from the District Attorney’s Office.

The Attorney General’s Office and the SBI took up the case at the request of District Attorney of Johnston, Harnett and Lee Counties, Susan Doyle.

Read more details submitted by Doyle.

The charges are as follows:

· Chadwick C. Lee, Johnston County attorney: 28 indictments containing 65 felony counts (altering official case records, felony obstruction of justice, and conspiracy)

· Lee Hatch, Johnston County attorney: 12 indictments containing 30 felony counts (altering official case records and felony obstruction of justice)

· Van Sauls, Johnston County attorney: four indictments containing 11 felony counts (altering official case records, felony obstruction of justice, and conspiracy)

· Jack McLamb, Johnston County attorney: three indictments containing six felony counts (altering official case records and felony obstruction of justice)

· Portia Snead, former Johnston County Assistant Clerk of Court: two indictments containing six felony counts (altering official case records, felony obstruction of justice and accessing a government computer)

· Cynthia Jaeger, former Johnston County Assistant District Attorney: three indictments containing three felony counts (obstruction of justice) and two misdemeanor counts (failing to perform duty of office) and one presentment containing 81 misdemeanor counts (failing to perform duty of office).

The integrity of our criminal justice system depends on the integrity of the people who serve as officers of the court. The Grand Jury has issued indictments based on the evidence presented by our investigators and prosecutors, and we will pursue these criminal corruption charges,” said Cooper in a statement to the media.


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