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.

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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.