Chief Judge Brown named chair of state policy commission

Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Rowan County Chief District Judge Charlie Brown has been tapped to lead the N.C. Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission.

Brown, first appointed to the commission in 2008, will take over as chairman after Judge W. Ervin Spainhour stepped down after 18 years.

The commission makes recommendations for modifying sentencing laws and policies, as well as for adding, deleting or expanding sentencing options.

“I am honored to be appointed as chair of the Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission and look forward to continuing the balanced and thoughtful approach that Judge Spainhour brought as chair,” Brown said in a news release.

N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin, who made the appointment, said Brown’s experience in the court system and knowledge of the commission’s work will serve North Carolina well in the chairman’s role.

First elected to the Rowan County District Court bench in 1998, Brown became chief judge in 2001. He is past president of the Conference of Chief District Court Judges.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and studied law at the University of South Dakota School of Law and the Wake Forest University School of Law. Brown and his wife, Emily Ford, live in Salisbury. They have two daughters and one son.

A news release about Brown’s appointment said he will continue working as chief district court judge in addition to chairing the commission.

The Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission has 28 members from the state’s three branches of government, the criminal justice system and the public. It was created in 1990 by the General Assembly.

Brown has been reappointed four times to the commission to represent the Conference of District Court Judges. He has served on seven commission subcommittees, including leading the Justice Reinvestment Act Subcommittee since 2011. He also represented the commission on the Youth Accountability Task Force, created by the General Assembly to design a plan to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246