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Former assistant DA Kelley pleads guilty, must pay back money


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A former Bladen County assistant district attorney has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and must pay back money she improperly received. Elaine Kelley entered the plea yesterday in Brunswick County Superior Court, court records show.

Kelley admitted to misprision of a felony, which means she failed to report having knowledge of a crime being committed.

A grand jury last year indicted Kelley on felony charges of obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. The charges stem from allegations she submitted false expense reports and received reimbursements of more than $14,000 while working for then District Attorney Rex Gore.

As terms of her plea deal, Kelley must pay restitution of $14,190.39. She also received a suspended sentence of 12 months unsupervised probation, which includes a special condition that her law license be suspended for six months, according to court documents. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop the two felony charges against her.

Earlier this week attorneys set an August 19 trial date for Gore on a charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense as part of the same investigation.

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Unless he

has already stated he knew of this and still approved her expense reports, Rex walks.

His defense will be he assumed the expense reports were accurate; and after all, he was too busy with his other duties to confirm weekly mileage.


It will be interesting. Mr. Gore approved a travel reimbursement and stated as much. I think the question was whether or not he had the authority to do so.

If he knew

it was false, when he approved it, he has some challenges to face.

If he did not have the authority, that's called ineptness; and he has already been removed from office.

And what did we learn today boys and girls?

If you're an ADA, a person sworn to uphold and protect the law, and you steal a felony size amount of money from the people you've sworn to protect ........... all you have to do is pay back the money and take a misdemeanor slap on the wrist. And even though she admitted to taking the money, she'll even get to practice law again in only six months.

Justice has been "served".

With this being her first

With this being her first offense it is not surprising that she got a deal. It would have been the same for any defendant with this type of charge.

She's not just any defendant

She was an ADA, an officer of the court. She was sworn to uphold the law. In my book, that holds her to a higher standard.


Ha! That's the lesson I learned today too; I guess she can enjoy her little 6 month vacation. Must be nice.