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Posted: December 23, 2016 2:39 p.m.

Letter: Tommy Craig is not the Newton County Attorney!

While serving on the Newton County (NC) Grand Jury (GJ) some 12 or so years ago, along with 22 other members of the summer session of the GJ, we all witnessed this extraordinary declaration from the NC District Attorney (DA) at the time, Mr. Ken Wynn.

At one point of explaining the duties of the NCGJ, Mr. Wynn stated that we may investigate any NC office we wished.  Mine was the only voice to reply, and I stated that I’d like the GJ to investigate the office of the NC Attorney, Tommy Craig.  Mr. Wynn further informed us that we needed nine members of the GJ to agree to this suggestion.  The DA was informed when the nine were identified.

When I asked to DA to tell us in what capacity Mr. Craig served NC he never answered the question, but repeated strongly that Mr. Craig was not the NC Attorney while mentioning that he knew who I was.   At that point the nine members who were interested initially in proceeding were asked anew if they’d like to continue.  Mine was the only hand raised.  This effectively killed the motion and no further action was taken.

Am I the only resident of NC who did not know that Mr. Craig was not the NC Attorney?  Has any citizen been given the name of the person holding this position?  Are we to assume that all the media accounts of Mr. Craig labeling him as the NC Attorney are so much deception and misinformation?   And what of all those official/legal documents in the County’s archives bearing Mr. Craig’s signature and title?  After many years of legal services to the county, is it possible that the DA was wrong?

As one citizen recently observed, “There’s no telling how may millions of dollars the County could have been spared” if the GJ had been authorized to fulfill its role at the time.

Alas, no one in County government at that time seemed interested in holding the DA accountable for his misleading instruction.

An ancient axiom seems quite appropriate in this situation:  “People get the kind of government they deserve.”  As cynical as this may sound, I prefer to believe that: “Commitment, competence and honestly are still achievable in the society we all help to create.”

Rita McBride

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