The N.C. State Bar filed a complaint last week against an embattled former district attorney who was forced to resign from office during a State Bureau of Investigation probe that revealed his wife had been collecting a state paycheck for time she wasn’t working. Former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer has had his law license suspended since August 2017 when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to discharge the duties of his office. The bar complaint addresses two claims against Blitzer: the first for his involvement in the scheme involving his wife, and the second for failing to disclose evidence that revealed that incorrect charges were brought against four Rockingham County defendants.
The complaint said that Blitzer committed a criminal act or acts that reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. The SBI investigation uncovered a criminal scheme where then-Person/Caswell County District Attorney Wallace Bradsher allowed Blitzer’s wife to be paid for working in his office despite taking nursing classes instead. The bar faulted Blitzer for allowing his wife to collect a paycheck from the state for hours she did not work, and for, in exchange, paying a Rockingham County employee to work in Person/Caswell counties -- without reporting that to the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts.
The Bar also faulted Blitzer for using a state computer to take nursing classes for his wife and instructing two of his employees to do the same, during working hours while still collecting paychecks. The second claim filed involves Rockingham County defendants Donnie Ray Carter, Teresa Vanover, Tommy Woodall and Everette Ferris, who were convicted in a prostitution ring of two teenage girls.
The Bar said that Blitzer received evidence that the victims were not severely or profoundly mentally disabled, as was alleged in the defendants’ charges, but he did not provide that information to three of the defendants. That allowed one defendant to plead guilty to a charge that evidence showed she did not commit, and it caused the other two to remain in prison when their convictions needed to be readdressed. The complaint said disciplinary action will be taken against Blitzer, but a hearing date has not been set.