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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Former District Attorney Rex Gore has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor willful neglect to discharge a duty of his office. In exchange, prosecutors have agreed to drop a felony charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense was dropped.

Gore received a suspended 60-day sentence and was placed on unsupervised probation for 18 months. He also must surrender his law license for six months.

The charges stemmed from allegations Gore signed off on false expense reports for one of his former Assistant DAs Elaine Kelley. Kelley pleaded guilty earlier this year to misprision of a felony and agreed to pay back more than $14,000 in travel expenses she had received.

Gore had said he had agreed to pay Kelley for travel when he hired her to handle cases in Bladen County. He said he had no intent to overstep his authority.

“Everybody acknowledges that from the beginning this was a mistaken belief that he had certain budgetary authority, which it turns out that he did not,” Gore’s attorney James Payne said. “Neglect is correctly applicable here; not dishonor at all by Mr. Gore, because he is a very honorable man.”

Gore was District Attorney for Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties for 20 years before losing in the 2010 Democratic Primary to Butch Pope. Republican Jon David won the general election that year.

Gore’s case was handled by the Attorney General’s Office.

Comment on this Story

  • Govmule

    Violent crime and gun violence is at an all-time high while Ben David and Jon David are using our tax dollars to tie up the courts with this political news grabbing stunt. They are pathetic dweebs who were isolated antisocial hypocrits, narcissists, law books is their power, their bible book. Two people with no real history of friends, community or social involvement, basically never known before they came to town to use the destruction of the good reputations of others to attempt to get their names in the news as being ‘somebody’. I feel sorry for the children they are now raising, to face the community in this DEEP pig sewer muck pond they have dug, as their only legacy here. “cant sink another persons end of the boat & still stay afloat”

  • JBowman

    Congratulations are in order for Mr. Rex Gore. Despite the politically charged environment that led to charges being filed, the truth was able to be brought forefront, and the charges rightfully dismissed. Mr. Gore accepted the charge that the manner of the reimbursement for Ms. Kelly’s mileage, if not correctly submitted, were a fraud being perpetrated in his office, by one of his assistants. Mr. Gore smartly accepted that he should have kept more control over the finances in his office. Mr. Gore, like anyone else at the top of their political office, accepted that he was responsible for things that happened on his watch. Personally, I might have had my day in court to prove my innocence. I believe there was no guilt on his part. I would have no problem voting for Mr. Gore in the next election. I feel his twenty years in office were the best period any jurisdiction could hope for. Prior to Rex Gore, the law enforcement in our county was rift with drugs, crime and violence. He took Brunswick County, as well as the other counties that he had responsibility for, to heights of respect that were previously absent. Perhaps he should have had more over site over the travel mileage reimbursement. There was no criminal intent on his part. People who have responsibility over others know, there is no possible way to stand watch over everything that goes on in your office. That is why you attempt to get the best people available. Handling paper work, including travel reimbursement, can be only verified by having the car mileage photographed before and after. That would be ridiculous. That is a responsibility that occurs almost daily, if not more. Let us not forget that we are talking about people who have the authority to seek the issuance of warrants, and any other legal issues that arise. We do, and rightfully so, expect our criminal justice system to be above reproach. We do not expect our law enforcement to commit any violations of the law, or our lawyers to lie. But unfortunately there are times when it occurs. Something as simple as approving mileage, or overtime, are a daily occurrence. If these things necessitated an actual verification prior to approving, things would come to a complete stop, and nothing would get done. I do not know the actual charge that was offered by the AG’s office, or the plea that was accepted. However, like a tiger that can’t change his stripes, it would take that ability to completely reverse Mr. Gore’s prosecutorial record and beliefs, for Mr. Gore to intentionally commit a criminal act. While I am sure there are those that are his detractors, I would say that I would never expect the office of the District Attorney in Brunswick County, or the other counties represented, to ever be accused of criminal activity. Mr. Gore may be accused of approving mileage reimbursement that were not appropriately submitted, or were inaccurately approved, or even that the party who submitted the mileage reimbursement was committing fraud. However you will not be able to say that Rex Gore took part in any criminal act, or approved of any criminal activity. Like any position of authority, you are responsible for the acts committed under your watch. Let’s all wait for the Attorney General’s Office to announce their findings.

    The Rex Gore that I have watched over a long period of time would never condone or participate in a criminal activities. He had nothing to gain by approving the mileage forms. He has stated his reasoning behind approving the mileage forms. Mr. Gore has been the DA for a long time. He had no known political aspirations. I do believe Mr. Gore’s explanation. Like a tiger who can’t change his stripes, Mr. Gore’s is set in his ways, and would never change the honest way he has led those under his pervue. Mr Gore’s record speaks to his honesty, and could not change his behavior, or the practices of his office. He would be last person I would suspect, and the first person I think of as a example of how to be a DA. He would never participate in any criminal activity. He has a respect for the law that very few have. I believe the man is above suspicion of wrong doing. Previous behavior is the only indicator of future actions. If Mr. Gore had any criminal intentions, it would not have taken twenty years to be exposed. If money was the reason for his involvement, he could have entered into the attorney pool who practice in Brunswick County, and increased his personal wealth many times over. He is a very religious man who would never intentionally bring dishonor to his position. I do have a grand idea of how this miscarriage of justice occurred. But nothing to back it up, so I am willing to believe that it just happened. I guess I will go along with what the talented Forest Gump stated “Stuff happens”!”

    When he begins actively practicing, he will find there are many, many, people who will request his services. Lastly, as a citizen of Brunswick County, I want to say thank you very much for your twenty years of service, and making our counties safer places to live.

  • Guest 4253

    Thanks for reassuring me that my gag reflex is still working perfectly.

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