Two North Carolina prosecutors indicted after hiring each other’s wives for phony jobs
Two elected district attorneys in North Carolina have been arrested and one has pleaded guilty for a scheme that authorities said involved both men hiring the other’s wife for bogus jobs.
Craig Blitzer and Wallace Bradsher were both accused of taking about $100,000 in state money from the North Carolina payroll program for jobs that didn’t really exist.
Blitzer has pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor failure to discharge the duties of his office and his law license has been suspended. The case against Bradsher is still pending and Blitzer is expected to testify against him in the criminal proceeding, a civil whistleblower suit and in proceedings the North Carolina Bar will have against Bradsher.
Blitzer was the district attorney for Rockingham County while Bradsher was the district attorney for Person and Caswell counties.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, whose office is prosecuting the case, has said the former prosecutors will not face jail time if convicted but could face community service. The two men could also face punishment from the North Carolina Bar, including disbarment.
The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation started looking into the prosecutors last year after employees in their offices began complaining.
Pamela Bradsher had worked as a legal assistant for her husband for four years. When the district attorney sought to promote his wife, he was told by state officials that his wife actually needed to resign due to a state law that prohibited an elected official from hiring their spouse.
Blitzer hired his wife as a legal assistant when he took office in January 2015, but state officials almost immediately told him that Cindy Blitzer had to resign.
The two district attorneys responded by hiring each others wives. But court records said both women only worked sporadically, with Cindy Blitzer also being a full time nursing student.
According to the Greensboro News & Record “Cindy Blitzer never had security access to the Person or Caswell County courthouses, which means, if she came to work, she would have to go through metal detectors before being allowed entry. Employees in those offices said they saw her fewer than fives times in her nearly two-year employment there, which was from Jan. 13, 2015, to Oct. 25, 2016.”
The newspaper also said that Pamela Bradsher swiped a keycard to gain access to the Rockingham County district attorney’s office on 36 of the 156 business days she was employed.
Meanwhile, employees of both prosecutors eventually complained to state officials. One filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Bradsher alleging she was fired after she complained.
Another prosecutor claimed Blitzer ordered him to take an online algebra class for his wife while a victim-witness coordinator also took tests for Cindy Blitzer and did her homework.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper appointed former Forsyth County District Attorney Tom Keith to replace Blitzer and appointed Assistant Attorney General Jacqueline Perez to replace Bradsher. The two will finish out the terms of Blitzer and Bradsher, which conclude at the end of 2018.