Tarboro NC – Former DA defends handling of James Johnson case

Wilson County’s outgoing district attorney says he believes his office handled the controversial prosecution of James Johnson appropriately, despite allegations of wrongdoing against the assistant district attorney who handled the case. (WRAL TV 5)

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

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Tarboro NC – Edgecombe County to honor Howard S. Boney Jr. District Attorney

A retirement celebration honoring Edgecombe County District Attorney Howard S. Boney Jr. will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2009 from 3-5 p.m. in the District Courtroom of the Edgecombe County Courthouse.

Rocky Mount NC – Potential candidate says DA’s office needs diversity

Atleast Werner get it. Yep talking about diversifying the staff. Now do you think that he would be discussing this if it had not been for the NAACP. Not! The NAACP and the community can hold the next D.A. accountable as it relates to the lack of diversity and other issues. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

A top contender to replace District Attorney Howard Boney says whoever is appointed to replace the longtime official ought to address the “lack of diversity” in the office.

Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner, who has worked under Boney in the Seventh Prosecutorial District since 1989, said Friday he would examine hiring practices at the office and work to diversify the staff if he were selected to finish Boney’s term. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Edgecombe County – A Picture of the D.A.’s Office

What comes to mind when you see this picture? Some of the names may have changed however the racial makeup of the picture has not.

Sources in the white and the black community say the retiring D.A. Howard S. Boney Jr. has basically allowed the Nash and Wilson Counties  D.A. offices to do whatever they want to and did not question their work. During the time of the James Johnson/Brittney Willis case in Wilson when the NAACP and some local black folks met with Boney about some things that happened in the D.A. office, Boney said he was unaware of what the D.A.s had done. So obviously my sources are right on target.

I have not talked to any of the candidates who are seeking the D.A. appointment however I have talked to several folks who have talked to some of the candidates. The only names I have seen the papers are Attorney Antonio Lawrence (black), Keith Werner Assist. D.A. (white) and Attorney Joe Ivey former assist. D.A. (White).

I received a phone call from a friend in Raleigh NC a couple of days ago asking me were we supporting Attorney Anthony (Tony) Brown (black)? I told them I was unaware he was seeking the appointment.

Attorney Mark Bibbs (black) has been on a local radio station in Rocky Mount twice this week discussing the D.A. appointment. Sources say he is a candidate as well however I didn’t hear him say it on the Express Yourself Monday night talk show and I didn’t hear all of the conversation on the Joy in the Morning Wednesday talk show.

Sources say that Boney told Ivey a couple of weeks ago that he was retiring. Sources say Ivey has said he was going to do the right thing and bring about some changes within the the D.A. office. Ivey worked as an Assist. D.A. under Frank Brown who resigned to become a Judge. He also worked under Boney for a while but then went back to private practice. Sources say he seems to be the candidate to appoint.

Sources say Werner who is already in the D.A. office will not be a good choice. Sources say things will stay the same.

Sources in the white community and the black community say Assist.  D.A. Steve Graham would be the one however he is not interested in the position. There was atleast another name out there a white female who some say would be a good candidate as well.

There has been much conversation in the black community about Attorney Antonio Lawrence. Some has been concerned about Lawrence being sick and when I asked the question, I was told that he has been given a clean bill of health. A white resource said that Lawrence record on the internet looked good and they said they thought he would be a good candidate. Sources say he is getting some good feedback from the black community and he is receiving much support from black elected officials.  Sources say despite the health rumors he is ready and willing to take on this responsibility.

I understand the interview process has began a few days ago and so it appears that there may be an appointed D.A. by May 1.

I am very much concerned about the racial makeup of the D.A. office. However I am more concerned about how none of the black attorneys have brought up the racial makeup of the D.A. office to the Democratic Party, the NAACP nor have I heard anything on the streets. This needs to be addressed however we also need to look at other areas. But the people who work on the inside need to bring about the awareness since they are on the inside and knows better than those on the outside.

Now that I am fully aware of the racial make up of the D.A.’s, I will hope that this will be an ongoing accountability process.

I recognize and understand that the Governor has a job to do and “we” some in the black community have made it clear where we stand on the appointment however keeping in mind we know the real deal will come at election time where the voters have the control.

Although I would love to see a black person as the next D.A., I will also support a D.A. not of color who will do the right thing. I feel if the D.A. is not of color, he or she will understand what they need to do because “we” some in the black community has spoken.

The numbers in the 7th Judicial District shows that black folks make up around 60% of the voting population within the Democratic Party so if there is a strong black candidate who would like to be the next D.A. during the 2010 elections, then they could possibly become the first black D.A. this east of Hwy 95.

Updated: April 25, 2009 14:37

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Tarboro NC – ‘Put the right man in there’

Yes, the next District Attorney should represent the whole district, but only if he is qualified, not just because the NAACP wants a “black” in the office. (Daily Southerner)

Funny how my letter to editor has not been printed.

—– Original Message —–

To: Terry Smith Editor Daily Southerner
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 2:16 AM
Subject: Letter to editor

Racial Makeup of the District Attorney’s Office

Letter to Editor: “Racial Makeup of the District Attorney’s Office”

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Wilson NC – Butterfield wants Perdue to consider black DA

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield prefers that North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue appoint a black district attorney in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties.

Butterfield wrote Monday asking Perdue to interview and consider qualified black lawyers to succeed retiring DA Howard Boney to increase diversity in the court system. (News & Observer)

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Edgecombe/Wilson Counties – Letters to Editor In Response To D.A. Appointment

Press Release

4/21/2009
Butterfield asks Perdue to consider black D.A.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has joined the NAACP’s call for black candidates to be considered for the next district attorney in Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties. …

Letters to editor

4/21/2009
Race does matter in D.A’s appointment
I received a call last Friday that District Attorney Howard Boney Jr. was retiring. I began doing some research to see who is responsible for appointing the person to replace Boney. After reading the Democratic Plan of Organization and N.C. general statutes, I came to the conclusion that the governor makes the appointment. Due to the fact that Boney is retiring, the Democratic Party Prosecutorial Committee, which is made up of 2 persons each from Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties, is not requi … (Wilson Times)

4/21/2009
Perdue should ignore the NAACP
I sincerely hope that Gov. Perdue will ignore the NAACP and appoint the best qualified person — rather than “a qualified person of color” — to the position of the 7th district D.A. .. (Wilson Times)

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance