State Blocks Payments to DWI Attorney in NC Ticket Scheme

A North Carolina DWI defense attorney implicated in the ticket fixing scandal in Johnson County will not be paid for some of his services. The state Office for Indigent Defense Services said that Chad Lee, one of the four criminal defense lawyers whose clients benefitted from the illegal case dismissals, will be barred from payment. The office went on to clarify that payment will not be issued in all cases Lee was appointed to after April 13, citing an inability to provide “quality representation” with criminal charges being filed against the former county prosecutor.

The majority of cases dismissed in the ticket fixing scheme were represented by Attorney Lee.

The State Bar typically only takes action against an attorney after the legal process is completed. Like any other case, there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Some wondered however whether Lee should be permitted to continue handling court appointed cases, given the criminal charges pending against him for his alleged role in the DWI ticket dismissals. Even other defense attorneys say the case against Lee could impair his credibility and thus his effectiveness in court.

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