Judge dismisses contempt charges against attorneys
SALISBURY - A superior court judge dismissed contempt of court charges against four Rowan County attorneys Thursday.
Judge W. David Lee, of Union County, charged Todd Paris, Trippe McKeny, Tom Brooke, Ted Blanton and James Davis Monday afternoon after Lee said the attorneys did not show up for court at 2 p.m.
Davis' charge was dismissed earlier this week.
The judge said he was "frustrated" Monday when a slow day in court came to a halt.
Court bailiffs were unable to get in touch with the attorneys who had cases on the court calendar that afternoon, Lee said.
A judge for 27 years, Lee said he was "dead in the water" without attorneys present to continue the calendar. By 2:20 p.m., he ordered the attorneys to be held in contempt.
Paris, McKeny, Blanton and Brooke gave sufficient reasons for their absences, Lee said.
McKeny and Blanton said they were juggling cases in district court at the time.
If the attorneys had made contact and come to an agreement with the Rowan County District Attorney's office, Lee said, their absences would have immediately been excused.
"I don't fault you for being busy," Lee told McKeny during the attorney's explanation.
Check Friday's Post for more information.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.