Saturday, June 09, 2012

Cline: Taxpayers Should Fund My Appeal

The N&O reports that disgraced ex-DA Tracey Cline has offered a Durham definition of chutzpah: she has filed a request that taxpayers should fork over the funds for her appeal of the (civil) judgment that removed her from her post as DA. She justified this extraordinary request on the grounds that since she no longer draws her DA's salary, she can't afford her attorneys' fees. (Cline apparently has struggled to set up a private practice.)

According to the N&O, the director of the courts system, former Judge John Smith, urged Judge Hobgood to deny the motion, on the following grounds: "there is no appropriation of funds for this purpose, there is no statutory authorization justifying the expenditure, and there is no other factor that would permit the Administrative Office of the Courts to provide payment for outside counsel in this situation. Furthermore, precedents establish that this is not a situation where state funds should be used to pay for private counsel in a removal proceeding such as this.”

Cline also can appeal to the AG's office to pay her legal expenses; why Roy Cooper would want to fork over taxpayer funds for such a fantastic appeal is not clear to me.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Cline a Communist?

Maybe we should all help pay Nifong's fine to the State Bar, so he can be reinstated and represent her pro bono.

Anonymous said...

My best friend is out of work and trying his best to find a job. He is flipping burgers and hauling trash to help his family. He has an advanced degree and a great professional record. A fine guy going through financial hell while he fights to keep his home and works odd jobs.
I hereby demand that the taxpayers of DUrham pay his bills!!!!! ( and he did eve get fired.......)
Can Cline be any more of a jerk than we already thought she was? Apparently so......

skwilli said...

I honestly don't know what to say about this other than America has become unrecognizable in just my lifetime. When unintelligent deadbeats can actually ask for taxpayer monies after they were dropped from their job for being incompetent, corrupt and lacking in fundamental requirements of their job, the wheels have definitely come off the bus. And thank goodness Durham-in-Wonderland lives on!

Anonymous said...

Private practice? Really? Where? Surely not here in Durham. As the DA she was barely in the building. I really can't see her pounding the pavement, drumming up business. Maybe her friend, Mr. Dornfried, can pay for her attorneys this go around. Not really hearing anything about his epic campaign.

Anonymous said...

Is Cline a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Good grief, why would any tax payer agree to fund Cline's fantasy world?
I guess NCCU law doesn't teach their students how reality and truth eventually exact a price.

Walt said...

Ordinarily, I would agree with you. However, Judge Hobgood granted Kerry Sutton's attorney $20,000 in state funds to pay for her reply to Cline's appeal. Under those circumstances, it seems fair to grant Cline a similar amount. I would rather the Judge have denied Sutton the appellate attorney fee. But, he did not. Thus, in the interest of fairness, Cline should get the same amount.

Walt-in-Durham

Anonymous said...

Tracey is one wacked out nut case.

Anonymous said...

A spark of self-awareness? Cline apparently understands that she can't competently represent herself. She's no Sidney Haar! MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Somebody, please, tell me this is a bad joke. If not, Cline's motion itself is per se evidence of her unfitness for the office, any office.

That said, I truly hope the court approves her motion and sticks the taxpayers with legal liability to pay her attorney fees. This will give Durham, Duke, etc. a bit of a taste of what's coming at them in terms of civil liability.

KC Johnson said...

To Walt:

I see your point, but in this case believe the judge was correct.

The issue is rather unusual--a statute that allows a private citizen (at his or her expense) to bring removal proceedings against a public official. The statute presumes the innocence of the public official.

The statute provides no guidance on who should bear the costs for an appeal if a judgment occurs against the public official. At that point, the innocence of the public official is no longer presumed, and at the very least there's a probable cause for guilt.

Given that finding, it seems the court has every right to pay the funds to defend its judgment--just as (in the Nifong criminal contempt trial), the court had the right to pay for the special prosecutor who tried the case.

The two alternatives strike me as less less compelling. Alternative One (pay both for the defense of the appeal and Cline's fees) suggests that taxpayers should be on the hook to fund appeals of indigent plaintiffs in a civil case (a requirement that doesn't exist in any state). Alternative Two (pay for neither side's appeal) would reinterpret the statute to mean that anyone undertaking a complaint would need to expect that all appeals' costs (which could total in the tens of thousands of dollars) must be born out of pocket--which it seems to me would provide close to a fatal deterrent against ever filing a complaint & would thereby undermine the purpose of the statute.

Of course: the best alternative would have been if the legislature had been clear on this question when it wrote the statute.

Anonymous said...

Cline is trying it on, throwing it up against the wall to see if it will stick -- just like she handled her job as Durham DA. And who knows, it might work since she is still a special status person. Even AG Roy Cooper let Mangum get off scot-free to go and look what happened.

If you don't agree with this please bear in mind how important the African-American vote is to Democrats in North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

by the way, I made a typo in my earlier post. my friend did NOT get fired! so, when do the taxpayers start sending him the checks?
Poor Cline.....is there no end to her self destruction?

Anonymous said...

Admittedly off the direct topic but still on the theme of utter lack of accountability in a culture where political correctness displaces antiquated notions such as merit and reason, has anyone been following the bizarre UNC summer school saga for the class entitled "Blacks in North Carolina"?

More evidence that in modern academia, there are sacred cows, the diplomatically immune and then minority faculty.

Anonymous said...

Seems like I heard this song before:
“…it could not be proved that she did not think she was raped.”

That still seems lame considering what the young men suffered at the hands of a liar.
IMO - Maxwell
-----------------------
Article lede:
Woman sentenced for lying about rape [Denmark]

Copenhagen Post ^ April 26, 2012 Peter Stanners

“The woman’s testimony lead to three men, who where were 16, 17 and 18 at the time, spending 14 months in jail for rape.…”

“According to the prosecutor, it was not possible to find her guilty of lying about the rape, as [it could not be proved that she did not think she was raped.”]

http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/woman-sentenced-lying-about-rape

Chris Halkides said...

Special agent Duane Deaver was fired from his job at the NC State Bureau of Investigation, but he is seeking to regain his job. "Deaver requested last month that the state pay for private attorneys to represent him, but the Attorney General's Office turned down the request, saying its lawyers would handle the case, which also names other SBI analysts." I am not certain whether this situation is comparable or not.