DA: District Attorney's Office employee suspended over 32-year-old warrant

DA: District Attorney's Office employee suspended over 32-year-old warrant

(WBTV) - An employee of the District Attorney's Office has been suspended without pay in connection to a warrant for his arrest from 32 years ago, District Attorney David Learner says.

According to a statement from Learner, he became aware on Tuesday that there was a felony larceny warrant from 1985 pending on 75-year-old Bobby Lee Powell, a part-time employee at the District Attorney's Office.

Learner said his understanding is that the charges arose during the time that Powell separated from his first wife.

Powell was instructed to voluntarily turn himself in and be served with the warrant that has been unserved for 32 years.

He was suspended without pay until the matter is resolved.

Powell is employed on a part-time basis in the District Attorney's Office for Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.

His job duties include assisting investigators for the District Attorney's Office to locate crime victims and other witnesses and he has been employed since Jan. 2015.

Learner said Powell's "job performance for the State of North Carolina has been excellent."

According to Learner, he contacted the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and requested an Assistant District Attorney from a different district handle every aspect of the matter in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

In the statement, District Attorney David Learner said he has questions about the timing of the service of the warrant.

"The warrant has been dormant for more than three decades, even though Mr. Powell has lived in Catawba and Burke counties all of his life and could be readily located. He worked at the management level for many years with some of the most prominent textile industries in this area and was an exemplary employee. The elected Sheriff of Catawba County, Coy Reid, personally called Mr. Powell and demanded he turn himself in on this warrant. I question the timing of the service of this warrant, and I believe that this is a clear political ploy."

There was no further information released on this matter.

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