The N.C. State Bar, which regulates lawyers in the state, has filed another complaint against Christine Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence.
The second complaint, like the first, centers on Mumma’s involvement in the case of Joseph Sledge, a 70-year-old man who spent 36 years in prison for a double-murder he did not commit.
Mumma is accused of not being forthcoming about how a reporter at The News & Observer got a document related to the case before it was publicly available.
Kendra Montgomery-Blinn, a lawyer who heads the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, asked Mumma in January whether she or her staff had provided a transcript of a previous commission hearing on Sledge before it had been certified. An N&O story published online before Sledge was released contained information from a closed portion of the hearing involving testimony from the victims’ family.
Mumma, according to the complaint, told Montgomery-Blinn that she would look into it, creating a “false appearance” that she had not provided the document.
The bar complaint accuses Mumma of engaging in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation,” a professional conduct violation that is “prejudicial to the administration of justice.”
Mumma faces another bar complaint accusing her of using unprofessional methods to obtain a water bottle she had tested in the case for DNA evidence.
In a response to the first complaint, Mumma’s attorneys contend that she did not act secretly or deceitfully, as the bar alleges. They further argued that any missteps she made during her investigation into Sledge’s case were motivated solely by her interest in freeing a wrongfully convicted man.