Perdue makes 4 judicial appointments

lbonner@newsobserver.com December 31, 2012 

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Governor Bev Perdue reflects on her term in office and her life in politics during a interview on Friday December 21, 2012 at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com

Gov. Bev Perdue appointed her general counsel, Mark Davis, to an open seat on the N.C. Appeals Court.

Davis, who has worked as Perdue’s in-house lawyer for two years, is filling a seat left vacant by the governor’s appointment of Cheri Beasley to the N.C. Supreme Court.

According to Perdue’s office, Davis was a special deputy attorney general in the state Department of Justice from 2006 to 2011, and spent 13 years in private practice. He has undergraduate and law degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Davis worked with Perdue as she reached her decision to pardon the Wilmington 10.

As her counsel, Davis was involved in negotiations with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians over the tribe offering live games at the casino in Western North Carolina.

As a special deputy attorney general, he advised law enforcement officials in 2010 that most of a new state law banning video sweepstakes could be enforced despite differing Superior Court rulings. Video sweepstakes continued to flourish as the cases moved through the state appellate courts. The state Supreme Court recently upheld the ban.

While in the Attorney General’s office, Davis represented Perdue and the State Board of Education in the 2009 lawsuit brought by state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson over Perdue and the board’s limiting her duties, which Atkinson won.

Davis, 46, will have to run in 2014 if he wants to keep the appeals court seat. Judges on the Court of Appeals earn $133,109 annually.

Perdue announced three more judicial appointments Monday, reappointing a special superior court judge and appointing a cabinet member and another member of her staff to the bench.

Calvin E. Murphy was reappointed a special superior court judge. He has been a special superior court judge since 2007. In 2010, Chief Justice Sarah Parker appointed him to serve on North Carolina’s Business Court.

State Department of Public Safety Secretary Reuben F. Young will become a special superior court judge. Special superior court judges have the same powers as superior court judges, but they are not required to live in particular districts and they travel the state hearing cases.

Young was legal counsel to former Gov. Mike Easley and was a lawyer in the state Department of Justice when Easley was attorney general.

Kendra Hill, chief ethics officer and deputy general counsel for Perdue’s office since 2009, will be a special superior court judge. Hill spent nine years as assistant legal counsel for the N.C. School Boards Association. Young and Hill have five-year appointments; Murphy’s appointment expires in June 2014.

“I am pleased and proud to appoint these outstanding public servants to judicial positions serving the people of North Carolina,” Perdue said in a statement. “I know they will perform their duties with distinction and honor.”

Bonner: 919-829-4821

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