Issues

Why I'm Running

Transparency, Accountability, & Modernization

Transparency, Accountability, and Modernization are the three tenets of my campaign for District Attorney.

 

First, I promise to bring a new level of transparency and communication to the Office. My cell phone and e-mail are, and will be, publicly available. Moreover, my Office will not shy away from review and will request aid from State and Federal authorities to improve our transparency.

Second, I promise to be accountable for the actions, and inaction, of my Office. It's unacceptable to pass responsibilities, or failures, of my Office on to law enforcement, legislators, or other interconnected parties. 

Finally, I promise to help modernize our court system. With COVID-19 changing how we interact with one another, it is more important than ever to streamline our court system in a way that keeps everyone safe but is also in the interest of justice.

Justice for Sexual Assault Victims

Sexual assault victims in Lee and Harnett Counties do not have the same resources as many larger counties. Therefore, I'm committed to prioritizing these cases and helping victims find the resources they need to seek justice. This is the first step in addressing the 0% conviction rate for sexual assault crimes that occurred between 2014 and 2018.

 

"Harnett lacks the resources of some larger counties."

"A couple of Harnett County Sheriff’s Office detectives do the bulk of the sexual assault investigations, but the DA’s office also works with other municipalities that might not have specialized staff"

“According to Carolina Public Press’ analysis, the prosecutorial district made up of Harnett and Lee counties is the only district in the state without any convictions during the 4 ½-year period, (2014 – 2018), included in the analysis.”

 

Sexual assault suspects face little chance of conviction in some NC counties, News & Observer, April 22, 2019

Stronger DWI Prosecution

What % of DWI's are voluntarily dismissed by Prosecutors?

Harnett County

43%

2nd Highest Out of 100 Counties

41%

2nd Highest in North Carolina &

Nearly Twice the State Average

21%

Lee County

39%

5th Highest Out of 100 Counties

State Average

Impaired Driving Charges FY 2016 -17 – NCCourts.gov (Latest Data)

Voluntary Dismissal of DWI's is wholly in the control of the District Attorney and their Assistants. The prosecutorial district's 41% voluntary dismissal rate is second highest in the state and almost twice the state average. It is vital that we keep drunk drivers off the road, especially in rural counties, like Lee and Harnett, where one false move can kill. 

Improved Oversight

A District Attorney is responsible for identifying any irregularities or abuses of power that occur in the courts they oversee. It's important for a DA to have his Assistants to be on the look out for such occurrences. Unfortunately, there was an alleged fictitious ticket scheme that lasted for 6 and a half years, 2013-2019, in Harnett County. With improved oversight, we will hopefully be able to spot irregularities and prevent future abuses.

“In dozens of cases, drivers were charged with eight, nine, even 10 infractions. Three drivers were charged by the troopers multiple times on the same day, in some cases with the same offense.”

 

Couple says trooper tacked on traffic charges after October stop, WRAL.com August 12, 2019

 

“In some cases, the two troopers charged individuals and failed to serve the citation(s).“The victims didn’t know they had been charged, therefore they didn’t show up for their court date(s). As a result, arrest warrants were issued for some while others had their driver’s licenses suspended.”

 

SBI maintains the irregular ticket-writing in Harnett County, where the troopers were stationed, goes back as far as 2013. The illegal ticketing wasn’t spotted until June (2019)” 

SBI says former troopers wrote illegal tickets in NC for years, News & Observer, October 24, 2019