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Testimony ends

DA Greg Newman awaits judge’s decision in removal of office hearing

POLK COUNTY—As of early Friday morning, there had still not been a decision made in the potential removal from office of Polk County’s District Attorney Greg Newman. 

Testimony wrapped up earlier this week, with 3 days of testimony in a rare hearing in Henderson County Superior Court. 

Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin is tasked as judge and jury in the case. 

Newman is facing removal from office under state law G.S. 7A-66 with people filing complaints against him. The affidavit filed in court claims Newman has an alleged pattern of “chronic and unrepentant misconduct.” 

Closing arguments in the case wrapped up on Wednesday. It is not known when the judge will rule. 

Independent counsel James Cooney III in his closing arguments asked the judge to weigh the power of a district attorney and the men who spoke up for him, including sheriff’s, police officers, pastors and judges against the power of alleged sexual assault survivors, who bravely spoke their truth to Newman and accused him of violating their constitutional rights.

A complaint was originally filed to the North Carolina State Bar against Newman in 2017. Newman was accused of failing to notify the victim of a court proceeding in a 2015 rape case and allegedly told the judge that the victim was notified and did not want to be heard. A 3-person panel unanimously decided to issue a 3-year stayed suspension for Newman, but allows him to continue to practice law as long as he abides by certain conditions. 

Following that hearing, an affidavit was filed with Henderson County Superior Court to remove Newman from office. 

Claims are that Newman mishandled or failed to prosecute alleged child sex abuse, rape and murder charges. 

Newman has served as district attorney for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties since 2013. He was first appointed by former Gov. Pat McCrory, then won the election in 2014 and in 2018. Newman served as the Hendersonville Mayor in 2005. 

Newman testified this week, along with several local law enforcement officers from the 3 counties. 

If Newman is removed from office, Gov. Roy Cooper can appoint his replacement. Newman is up for re-election in 2022.