ONLY ON 3: Judge Lewis, attorneys ban media from Bar Association meeting discussing DA, Judge Jolly

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- The Brunswick County Bar Association came together today to discuss District Attorney Jon David and the controversial StreetSafe program he would like to use.

David tried to set up a program in Brunswick County using StreetSafe. It works with young people who have had brushes with the law in their cars and SUV's. However, Judge Jerry Jolly issued an administrative order stopping David from using the program, because he contends David was "running a scheme" by sending business to StreetSmart. The program director had given David's campaign less than $250 last year.

When we tried attending the meeting, we were escorted out by a sheriff's deputy and told it was "private meeting." When we followed up, we were told that Brunswick County Judge Ola Lewis had requested security for the meeting to keep anyone from coming in.

We called Judge Lewis and reminded her that the Bar Association was meeting in a public building (the courthouse) and using tax-payer resources (sheriff's deputies) to run security for the meeting, therefore it should be open to the media and public in general. She said they always had their meetings there, and even though it didn't look good, said the meeting should be closed.

After the meeting, the Bar Association released a copy of a resolution it passed lauding Jolly "for his distinguished public service and his many valuable contributions to our local Judicial System."

David has written Jolly a letter requesting he apologize for the language of his order.

County Attorney Huey Marshall, who also serves as the Bar Association's Secretary/Treasurer, said the group has used the courthouse for its private meetings for years. He said private groups often use public facilities, including families having picnics in county parks. When asked if the Bar Association would reimburse the county for the use of a deputy, Marshall said he did not know about the deputy. He also said he does not know if the current county commissioners, who he conceded would need to give permission to use the courthouse for a private meeting, knew about the Bar Association's private meetings there.

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So, if I'm meeting with my attorney at the courthouse, the media should be able to televise our conversation because it is in a public facility? Should the media be able to put a camera in the DA's office during their staff meeting because it is located in a public facility and the taxpayers pay their salaries? Try putting one in the DA's office. Try putting a camera in the judges' offices that are located in the public facility. I do not believe you will have a camera in there long. Isn't the Golden Corral a public place?

Too Funny!! Are you suggesting the public just keep their heads in the sand, so those fellows on their private committees can take turns on who gets to win in court this week!! I have seen to many times a couple of Judges use thier power to humiliate people just because they can, its a crooked justice system down there at The Brunswick County courthouse! Thats why I would NEVER live there again until some things get changed ..I am not running for office and those Attorneys can't say anything they will never win another case. There called puppets!! They have nice houses just look at " " he lives in a fortress, really!!
LOL

Guest800000000 - Thanks for leaving your comment.

Should we be able to televise a conversation between you and your attorney? Of course not. That falls under attorney / client privilege.

Should we be able to put a camera in the DA's office? Not without the DA's permission, no.

Is the Golden Coral a public place? The answer is no again. The manager or owner has every right to turn someone away and not serve them. It is a private restaurant.

But, when a private group uses a public facility at no charge to attempt to hold a secret meeting - then yes, I think we should be able to attend. The jury waiting room is not someone's private office nor is it used on a regular basis for private conversations. It is a public room in a public building.

sp

Apparently you do not know what attorney client privilege is. I'm sure if I'm meeting with my attorney at the courthouse my attorney nor I paid to meet there. In using your words. The meeting between my attorney and me is a private meeting in a public facility at no charge to hold a secret meeting. Why should you have to get the DA's permission but do not have to get someone else's permission? Should you have to get the judges' permission to put a camera in their offices. The DA is a public office in a public facility.
The Golden Corral is a public place. It is open to the public. The public does not pay for it with their tax money, but it is a public place in that it is open to the public.

Just because a building is a public facility doesn't automatically give you the right to attend, Scott. When someone rents out a public building, like a Civic Center, they, as temporary tenants, have every right to ask someone to leave. Furthermore, just because someone has deputies providing security, doesn't give you the right to enter either. Many bars are considered private clubs. If they hire police officers to provide security, it doesn't automatically mean the bar is open to the public. You need to learn a little more about the law before you respond on these boards and look ignorant.

Many things that happen in the courthouse are off-limits to the public. When the judge meets with prosecutors and defense attorneys "in chambers," they do not invite or welcome the general public or the media.

Of course, you may want to ask if the Bar Association pays for these perks they are receiving in the form of meeting space and security. That seems like a key issue to me. Is this perk available to the general public?

Dear Mr. Pickey,

You are a disgrace to your profession. It is truly a shame what WWAY has become. Instead of being a reputable news provider, they focus more on gossip and trash. If you are interested in actually reporting, take a look at how Judge Jolly has honorably served the 13th district for over 25 years. Take a look at all the good that Judge Jolly, the Brunswick County Bar AND the District Attorney's office has done for the citizens of Brunswick County.

It has become very clear that your only objective here is to stir up the pot in Brunswick County. Shame on you for suggesting that there are no private meetings in public buildings. That is absurd and borderline liable for suggesting such a thing. WWAY should take a serious look at the way you conduct yourself and manage your reporters. Try looking at the good things going on in Brunswick and stay clear of the slanderous reporting.

A very concerned Brunswick County citizen

Its about time someone brought up these issues, your very concerned about Brunswick County? Judge Jolly gets all this credit for being Honorable? Nobody says anything about the corruption because they are scared, puppets!! They dare not go against Judge Jolly or Judge Lewis, they (Attorneys would be black balled) It kills me how people think they no everything about what a person does or is like! Twenty five years is way too long for any Judge to sit on the bench in one county!! That is not right and The Attorneys don't want the traffic court because it hurts there wallets!! Your a joke! You don't know what goes on in the Judges chambers DO YOU???

You have to be kidding! What the DA's office and the lawyers and judges have been doing in Brunswick County in the last twenty odd years can hardly be defined as positive or honest. Look at how many cases are voluntarily dismissed every week. Money passes somewhere to get that done. Everybody knows it - don't insult the intelligence of citizens of the county. The whole problem is that the game is over while Jon David is in office. Pure and simple. Lay off of WWAY, they are where the truth IS published. Spin it anyway you want. How can anybody expect to receive justice in a courtroom here while it is knowledge that the judges and lawyers are against the DA's office. People need to remember this at the polls. This is NOT about justice; this is about political and power interests. Oh yeah, I'm concerned, too. I don't want more of what we've had in the past and a great many others agree.

Concerned Brunswick County Citizen - thank you for leaving your comment as well.

I would like to ask though that you take a moment and please point out any and all examples of "gossip" and/or "slanderous" reporting.

I believe you'll find everything reported is backed up with fact and truth. You may not like it, and that's ok, but it is news and worth reporting.

sp

With all of the threatening Jon David has done of "legal action"...perhaps the bar was meeting to merely consult with potentianl "clients"..... how do you know it wasn't an attorney/client meeting?? You don't know it wasn't! I have always supported WWAY, however, you're wrong this time Scott. The bar was merely trying to come together to make an educated, unbiased decision. It was NOT a "secret" meeting, it was a MEMBERS only meeting!....The deputies are there to protect the public, and if a client and attorney were in the courthouse and the media was trying to be "nosey"... a deputy would escort them out. Same thing!

Scott,

I certainly do appreciate you challenging me on your continued disgraceful reporting. Here are just a couple of "so-called facts" that have absolutely no merit whatsoever. I would love to know where you received these "facts." I would also hope that your supervisors or news directors take a serious look at what your news station has become.

1) Bar meeting to discuss Jon David's traffic program or Street Safe. I have spoken with several people who have informed me that these programs were never discussed. Where did you get your information regarding the contents of the meeting?
2) Judge Jerry Jolly's relationship with RC Soles. I am sure that you are aware that lew enforcement officer conduct investigations against the accused. A judge would not be involved in the prosecution, instead this would fall directly to the elected District Attorny. Please let me know where you received your information that Judge Jolly has ever acted inappropriately with regards to Mr. Soles.
3) Streets being less safe because law enforcement has to be in court. Again, where did you get this information? As I am sure you aware through your research, officers have monthly court dates. They typcially don't come to court until they are called. Again, another "fact" that just isn't true.

Scott, your reporting is slanderous. Accusing a judicial official of improper rulings or acting unethically is slanderous. You should apologize for your reporting. You are hurting people and attempting to make news. As a reporter, you should be ashamed. You have investigated any of the facts, you simply report what you think will sell. That is not what a local news station is for. They should unbiasly report the news. I certainly hope that if you want to pursue this story, you contact some of the local bar members. I think that you would be very surprised of some of their opinions. Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

- Brunswick County Resident

Why do you watch WWAY news then? So funny!

Nicely put.

Puh-leeze! Nobody not in the 'clique' in this county believes one word you utter. Of course there was no discussion openly during the meeting. Everything takes place behind the scenes. That is precisely the problem here. And we know it. The good ole boys are behind this and it is for political and financial reasons. Their playground is coming apart because David does not play the game and is not going to do so. Your moral outrage would be funny were it not smeared across the bodies and destruction of many people who have had that justice you brag about on the part of judges and lawyers in this county. Scott does not owe you anything. This station is the only one who tells what goes on. If David had listened, he would have put every one of Gore's holdovers out in the pasture, but he's not that kind of man. They should all have followed their leader on out the door. And that includes you.

Maybe it doesn't look good because it is not good!
I am a Brunswick County taxpayer and it doesn't look good to me!

Nothing here in Brunswick County looks good. Shouldn't be hard to figure that out.

The Judge had no authority to order deputies, at the taxpayer's expense, to act as men at arms at a private event. This just crossed over to a secret meeting and is another fraud placed upon the taxpayer's purse. Shame on you Judge Lewis. I supported you prior to this sham.

Judge Lewis did NOT order anything! I was there. I, as a member of a private organization, told the media members to leave as it was a closed meeting. We did not use any sheriff for security. We did not use a room that would otherwise have been used during the same time frame. This is so amusing how some are trying to turn the tables away from the issues at hand. And think, you folks are the same people that elect our leaders. No wonder our country is in shambles...you actually believe the media like it's gospel.

Yet Lawdog - Judge Lewis herself and two sheriff's deputies told us SHE DID!

So we should believe YOU - a member of the Brunswick County Bar Association? You sure are making it difficult.

Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director