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ONLY ON 3: Columbus Co. Sheriff clarifies criticism of DA

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — District Attorney Jon David has gone through some ups and downs since being sworn in more than ten months ago.

David, who is responsible for cases in Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen Counties was featured in this week’s edition of “North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.” A few strong comments by Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten in that story have stirred up some controversy. Today, though, Batten said some of those comments were taken out of context.

David, who has already been through a battle with Chief District Court Judge Jerry Jolly over traffic court, now faces allegations Batten, who said in the story that David was giving little attention to cases in two of the three counties he served.

In the story Batten says, “I don’t think Columbus and Bladen are being treated quite fairly. I think he just wants to put most of his focus on Brunswick to thank those folks in a roundabout way for putting him into office.”

But Sheriff Batten says the writer only used his negative comments for the story. Batten also says he only felt that way for the first six to eight months in the David administration.

“In the last two or three months, like I spoke to the journalist about it, I think that things have really made a turn,” Batten said today. “I think some of our concerns are being met and looked at, being evaluated and being worked on through the DA’s office.”

In the story, Batten says he would not oppose splitting the 13th Judicial District into two parts giving a different DA to Columbus and Bladen while David serves Brunswick.

“In the beginning I did entertain some comments from some citizens and attorneys and from some of the people in the judicial system about the need for a split district, where Columbus and Bladen would be separated from Brunswick,” Batten told WWAY. “Right now I think Jon needs the opportunity to prove hisself.”

Batten also says he and David have a good working relationship and looks forward to the future.

“I think he’s got a good leadership team going here in Columbus County, and he has brought some joint, shared, mutual admiration to what we need here in Columbus County, and that’s justice for the people,” Batten said.

We tried to get a hold of David for a response to some of these comments, but he was unavailable this afternoon.

More: continued here

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