Wednesday, January 26, 2011

County DA two-step

Have you tried keeping up with the district attorneys in the county? I normally don't pay particular attention to county politics, but I caught snippets of this in the paper, so looked a little into the chain of events.

Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Marsha Goodenow was fired by Mecklenburg District Attorney Peter Gilchrist on November shortly before he left office. No explanation was given.

About nine days later, Union County District Attorney hired her as an assistant district attorney in Union County.

Because she went from fired to hired in such a short time frame, the state changed the classification of the move from an "involuntary separation" to a "transfer," essentially meaning no explanation of her firing will be forthcoming. Per an Enquirer-Journal article:
Because the hire happened so nearly after the firing, the N.C. administrative office of the courts replaced the “involuntary separation” label with that of a “transfer.”

“If there had been a break, two actions would have been processed: A voluntary separation and a reinstatement,” according to Patti Brooks, human resources compensation manager for the N.C. court system.

All court employees work for the state, not the individual districts, so any court worker could transfer to any district in North Carolina.

Because the action is now listed as a transfer, the public is prohibited from seeing her personnel file, including why Gilchrist fired her.
If that is not interesting enough, only a month after running for re-election, District Attorney John Snyder resigned. In this WFAE article, Snyder essentially acknowledges that he hired ADA Goodenow at best after he was offered a position in the private sector. I'm not sure why former DA Snyder felt the need to fill a position when he was on the way out the door.

Gov. Bev Perdue recently appointed Trey Robison to be the county district attorney, perhaps putting a coda on this awfully strange story.

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