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.

Categories: Brunswick