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Originally published: 2014-04-03 18:22:45
Last modified: 2014-04-04 12:50:03

DA appointment pending

by Anna Oakes

Thursday marked the third day since Jerry Wilson ended his tenure as 24th district attorney, but as of presstime the governor's office had not announced an appointment to fill the office.

The DA's office announced Tuesday that Wilson retired effective March 31 because of medical problems. It's now up to the office of Gov. Pat McCrory to appoint an interim district attorney to serve through the November election.

Assistant district attorney Britt Springer said initial indications were that Judge Alexander Lyerly (who also recently retired) would be appointed, with Lyerly even traveling to the Watauga County Courthouse to be sworn in Tuesday. Lyerly, like Wilson, has endorsed Springer's candidacy for the district attorney's seat.

But an appointment did not come Tuesday. "We are still in the process of choosing someone," said Ryan Tronovitch, deputy communications director for the governor's office, in an email late Tuesday afternoon. Tronovitch has not returned several phone and email messages since then.

Springer said the delayed appointment is affecting the operations of the district attorney's office, which as a result canceled the scheduled meeting of the grand jury next week.

"We're at a grinding halt right now," she said.

The other candidates in contention for the district attorney's office are Nathan Miller of Boone and Seth Banks of Burnsville. The three candidates are all Republicans who will face each other in the May 6 primary.