Local/State

Affidavit filed to remove Durham District Attorney

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A man's effort to get the Durham County district attorney removed from office has intensified.

James Lynch claims to be a victim of a robbery, and says there was a lack of action by the sheriff's department.

Lynch said he was robbed of $15,000 in cash, jewelry, and a handgun last year at his home. His frustrations poured out in an affidavit filed at the Durham County Courthouse. He's now asking for the removal of Durham D.A. Leon Stanback.

"A crime is a crime," said Lynch. "They need to be held accountable. He violated my civil rights."

Lynch claims the sheriff's office failed to thoroughly investigate the person he believes committed the crime. He contacted the attorney general and then Stanback, asking him to request the SBI look into the investigation of his case. Lynch says he was ignored.

Under a rarely used state law, anyone can file an affidavit requesting the removal of a district attorney. It's how Durham's former D.A. Tracey Cline was ousted from office after a judge determined there was merit to the complaint filed by a Durham attorney.

Lynch is confident the judge will seriously consider his complaint as well.

"I am very persistent," said Lynch. "I know the truth."

Lynch says he's filed complaints with the state bar, and the state ethics commission. He also says he tried to file criminal charges against the sheriff, claiming he was threatened.

It's a claim the sheriff's office denied in a letter provided by Lynch who was "encouraged to seek assistance from a mental health professional."

The sheriff's office issued statement, which said, "We do understand that Mr. Lynch is not satisfied with our investigation into the burglary of his residence. That case remains open and we will continue to pursue all credible leads."

However, that's of little comfort to Lynch who says he's standing up for victim's rights. He urges others to come forward.

"You have to pursue the truth. Don't get up," said Lynch. "There's hope. I knew that I was going to pursue the truth."

Late Tuesday afternoon, Stanback released this statement to ABC11, "After talking with the Sheriff's Office and the SBI, it was decided that this was not a case we wanted to pursue. We have to make difficult decisions."

A judge has 30 days to decide if Lynch's complaint has merit requiring a hearing.

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durham county, local/state, tamara gibbs
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