State bar possibly investigating embattled DA

Durham DA Tracey Cline
April 18, 2012 2:17:56 PM PDT
ABC11 has learned that the state bar could be investigating Durham County's former district attorney.

Tracey Cline was removed from office last month following a special hearing before Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood. He said she should not have used strong language in court motions accusing senior resident Judge Orlando Hudson of dishonesty and corruption.

Now, ABC11 has learned Cline may be on the radar of the the agency that regulates lawyers.

For the second time in recent months, representatives with the North Carolina State Bar returned to the Durham County Courthouse requesting paper copies of court documents involving Cline.

Receipts show the bar paid nearly $400 for the copies of exhibits used in Cline's removal hearing. By law, the bar cannot publicly comment on whether it is investigating the former prosecutor.

Cline has said she will appeal her removal and she continues her fight to gain access to emails belonging to Judge Hudson.

Meanwhile, her supporters rally behind her.

"I feel that this is a political witch hunt to be honest with you," supporter William Everett said.

Governor Beverly Perdue named retired Superior Court Judge A. Leon Stanback, Jr. as the interim Durham DA. There cannot be a special election to replace Cline until she has exhausted her appeals.

Stanback has been tightlipped about recent staff changes in Cline's former office. At least one assistant DA has left in recent weeks. Exactly why that assistant DA left is unclear.

Meanwhile, ABC11 reached out to Cline but we have not gotten a response from her.

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