The complaint itself is divided into two parts. The first focuses on Cline's efforts to obtain prison visitor information on inmates Yearwood, Richardson, and Kidwell--all, apparently, out of an effort to find proof for Cline's claim of a vast conspiracy between the N&O, a handful of defense attorneys, and Judge Hudson. In the process of requesting this information, Cline made false statements to the court and to prison officials.
On this point, the Bar seems to have Cline dead to rights: she lied to obtain information she had no right to have, and she did so for an improper purpose.
The complaint's second section focuses on Cline's "repeated statements about the honesty, integrity, and fairness of Judge Hudson." According to the Bar, Cline knowingly made false statements (or had "reckless disregard as to whether the statement was true or false"). The complaint produces several of these statements--duly noting the myriad spelling and grammatical errors contained in the NCCU Law grad's various motions to the court.
Cline, the complaint claims, "brought the office of the Durham County District Attorney into disrepute." (Could her attorney argue that the office was in such disrepute that nothing Cline could have done could have brought it into further disrepute?) The complaint also alleges that Cline's statements undermined confidence in the judicial system--except, I suppose, for roving-character-witness-to-unethical-DA's Judge Marcia Morey--and were made with "reckless disregard for the truth."
The Bar concludes by charging Cline with violating five acts that violated ethics rules, two relating to the prisoner visitation record requests, three related to her false and inflammatory statements about Judge Hudson:
Joe Neff brings the word at the N&O.
The State Bar has filed a 10-page ethics complaint against the disgraced ex-DA, charging her with making repeated false representations to the court, including knowingly making false representations to the court in her request for prison records.
Will consecutive elected Durham County DA's be disbarred for ethical violations?
And speaking of ethics, DukeProf pointed me to this quite remarkable comment from the chair of the search committee that recommended Duke hiring Paula McClain as graduate dean. According to the Chronicle,
The top three candidates also faced tests of “background due diligence,” [committee chair Calvin] Howell said. The committee conducted a poll in an effort to understand how each candidate was viewed publicly. In the past, McClain has been criticized for her involvement with the “Group of 88”—University professors who signed a controversial advertisement printed in The Chronicle following the 2006 lacrosse scandal. McClain’s involvement in the controversy did not cross a “threshold of concern,” Howell said. “She’s a political scientist and that’s what they do, they take a stance,” Howell said. “You’re not always on the right side of history, but as a scholar you have to have a voice.”Imagine if instead of presuming the guilt of her own school's students, McClain has issued a public statement urging the Supreme Court to overturn racial preferences. Does anyone who saw how President Brodhead handled the issue this spring believe that Duke's response to such a candidate would have been "that’s what they do, they take a stance . . . as a scholar you have to have a voice”?
The inference from Howell's statement: McClain was on the wrong side of history, but Duke nonetheless put her in a position that depends on her good judgment.