RALEIGH — The state’s highest court has reinstated an obstruction charge against a former district attorney who was convicted in a so-called “wife-swap” case for giving a job to the wife of the then-Rockingham County district attorney in exchange for hiring his wife.
The N.C. Supreme Court said in a ruling Friday that it concluded that since “there is sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict finding defendant guilty of felony obstruction of justice, we reverse the Court of Appeals’ decision and reinstate the felony obstruction of justice conviction.”
The court, which heard arguments on Aug. 29, only looked at the obstruction charge against former Person/Caswell County District Attorney Wallace Bradsher after state prosecutors asked for a discretionary review of the state appeals court’s decision on that particular charge.
In the dissenting opinion, Justice Anita Earls argued that the evidence failed to demonstrate how Bradsher’s statements to investigators actually led to obstruction.
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Bradsher was convicted in a scheme where his wife got a job working for then-Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer in exchange for Bradsher hiring Blitzer’s wife, Cindy, to work in his office. The SBI investigated after an employee reported that Cindy Blitzer was getting paid although she was enrolled in nursing school full-time and had not been working for the district attorney’s office.
Craig Blitzer testified during the trial that he and Bradsher agreed in 2015 to hire each other’s wives to get around state ethics rules. Cindy Blitzer said Bradsher knew she wasn’t doing any work for months but was still getting paid.
Bradsher was disbarred and served five months behind bars in 2018 after being found guilty of obtaining property by false pretense, obstruction of justice and failure to discharge the duties of his office.
In 2020, the state Court of Appeals threw out both the obstruction conviction and one for fraud.