Legal filings by Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline against Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson were central to the inquiry that led to Cline's permanent removal from office Friday. The judge cited more than 20 passages by Cline in his order as evidence of grounds for her removal or ethical wrongdoing. Here is a sampling, with the five passages as identified by Hobgood as grounds for removal, listed first:
Hudson's "misconduct involves more than an error of judgment or a mere lack of diligence; this Court's actions encompasses conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty and corruption."
"The District Attorney may personally accept the planned purposeful personal attacks of this Court [Judge Hudson], but there are some sacrifices that are too great for the District Attorney to accept, kidnapping the rights of victims and their families, holding these rights for hostage until the prosecutor plays the game would bankrupt the credibility of our court system and Justice will not play that Game."
"The intentional malicious misconduct of this Court is covered by the robe, and rationally relied on by reporters and the public. Then media mayhem - another prosecutor withheld evidence; this shameful disgraceful conduct is unimaginable, but true with this Honorable Court. This is gross misconduct."
"This Honorable Court is in total and complete violation of the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct and ... will continue to violate the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct with regard to the rights of others, no regard of the constitutional protections of the victims of crime, and no regard to the simple difference between right and wrong."
"(F)or the root of this unjustified contempt to be conceived in the womb of justice, a judge, sworn to be fair and impartial, destroys the dignity of the office of this Honorable Court and for those who use this Court for special situations outside the lines of right and wrong; don't hide your dirty hands; and to those who have seen, and know, yet turn a blind eye, acknowledge your hands are covered with the blood of justice. And be ashamed."
"This malacious misconduct still continues and will not cease; in that this Honorable Court [Judge Hudson] sacrifices the justice owed to the citizens of Durham County in order to punish the prosecutor."
"This continued constant failure to follow the law for personal privilege to punish the prosecutor is not simple misconduct; this is an appalling action that sacrifices all of the principles of the criminal court system; truth, law, impartiality, and integrity."
"That the State's right to be heard has been striped (sic) away under Orders of this Honorable Court, the victims' rights are lost by the Court's calculated schemes, the chief medical examiner's opinion is clouded by a 'court created conspiracy' unsupported by any facts or law; ... families of murder victims' faith is forfeited by fictitious findings of this Court, and victims of decade old crimes are being emotionally and relentlessly repeatedly raped by this Court's rulings, based only on retaliation disregarding what is right..., and the criminal justice system's credibility is a causality (sic) of this Court's callous misconduct."
"(T)hat such conduct [Judge Hudson] will rot the justice system at its core in that the court is not governed by law, the law is replaced by the whims of the Judge and the associations of the Court; this is a total and radical lack of respect for the rule of law which does not promote public confidence in the court ..., but fertilizes the 'favorite son syndrome' of bias and prejudices that the democratic society has for so long tried to alleviate."
"Such abuse of power, without legal consciousness of right and wrong, having a total and reckless disregard of the law, and a reprobate mind of a monarch, aims to destroy and will destroy, the heart of our justice system if left unchecked."
"The willful misconduct of this Honorable Court is Judicial Power fueled by vengeance and unrestrained power, without responsibility or the regard of the rights of others, or even the basic sense of right and wrong."
"The District Attorney confidently and without hesitatation indicates based on Personal Knowledge that this this Honorable Court is no longer fair and impartial and can not and will not perform the duties required of him, in an impartial manner."