Judge withholds sentence for former DA in wife-hiring scheme

August 10, 2018

Former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer leaves a Wake County courtroom on July 17, 2017, after pleading guilty to failing to discharge his official duties in connection with a scheme to get his wife a job.

A former prosecutor who took part in a scheme to get a no-show job for his wife could avoid further punishment if he keeps out of trouble in the future.

Craig Blitzer, who resigned last year as Rockingham County district attorney, said he and Wallace Bradsher, who resigned a year ago as district attorney of Person and Caswell counties, agreed in early 2015 to hire each other’s wives to get around state ethics rules against prosecutors hiring spouses.

Cindy Blitzer said Bradsher was aware that she wasn’t doing any work for months but was still getting paid. She said Bradsher wanted her to focus on her classes as she worked to complete her nursing degree.

Meanwhile, Pam Bradsher performed the work she was paid to do while working in Craig Blitzer’s office, state investigators determined.

Wallace Bradsher called the lack of oversight for Cindy Blitzer “an administrative failure” that didn’t rise to the level of a crime. But prosecutors called him the “puppet master” in the scheme, saying he hatched the plan and then tried to orchestrate a coverup once the State Bureau of Investigation began looking into Cindy Blitzer’s work.

He was convicted in June of obtaining property by false pretense, aiding and abetting obtaining property by false pretense, two counts of obstruction of justice and failure to discharge the duties of his office. He was disbarred and was sentenced to four to 14 months in prison, two years on probation and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.

Craig Blitzer pleaded guilty a year ago to failure to discharge the duties of his office and agreed to testify against Bradsher. As part of his plea deal, he surrendered his law license and paid back the $48,000 investigators determined his wife was improperly paid.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway on Friday continued judgment in Blitzer’s case, meaning that prosecutors could bring the case back up in the future to seek an active jail sentence if Blitzer, who is now a commercial airline pilot, was ever charged with another crime.

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