Interim DA could be appointed during Cline's suspension

January 30, 2012 2:46:43 PM PST
With Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline suspended from office, many are wondering who's in charge and what comes next?

So far, Gov. Bev Perdue has yet to appoint an interim D.A. ABC11 was told the D.A.'s office is functioning much like it would when Cline is simply out of the office.

However, by law, Perdue must appoint an interim D.A. in Cline's absence. It's unclear if that will happen before the scheduled removal hearing where Cline will get the chance to defend herself.

Right now, the governor's office will only say it hopes to make an interim appointment as soon as possible. There's a lot of speculation about what will happen, but legal experts caution Cline's future is still uncertain.

"This is historic, in a sense. It's sad we're coming after the Nifong situation into this," said North Carolina Central University Law Professor Irv Joyner. "Durham hasn't healed from that and now Durham is having to deal with this situation which is obviously embarrassing to a lot of people and probably unnecessary."

Cline's removal hearing is set for Monday, Feb. 13.

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