Following a contempt of court ruling last week, New Hanover Democratic party leaders are calling for Julia Olson-Boseman to resign.
However, her lawyer says she’s working to resolve the matter.
A Wake County judge ruled on July 18 that Olson-Boseman, chair of the New Hanover County Board of Commissionerswas in civil contempt of court after she failed to comply with a court order to turn over financial records to the North Carolina State Bar.
Joshua Walthall, a Raleigh-based lawyer representing Olson-Boseman, addressed the situation in an emailed statement Monday afternoon, writing that the New Hanover County commissioner is working to provide the requested documents.
“Ms. Boseman has a deep and sincere respect for the judicial system and is committed to complying with the court’s order directing her to produce documents and information to the State Bar,” he wrote. “At present, she is making every effort to obtain the documents the Bar is seeking.”
Amid the legal issues on Monday, the New Hanover County Democratic party asked Olson-Boseman to resign from the county’s board of commissioners.
“We believe that it is in the interest of Ms. Olson-Boseman and New Hanover County for her to focus on her family and addressing the challenges she faces in her private life without the additional burden of public service,” party chair Andre Brown wrote in a Monday news release.
The statement notes Olson-Boseman is no longer a registered Democrat. Voter records show Olson-Boseman is registered as a Republican. It’s unclear when her voter status changed, but she ran for re-election in the May 17 primary on the Democratic ticket.
“We hope she finds a home in a party that shares her values,” Brown wrote in the release.
New Hanover County’s Republican Party was “as surprised as anyone” by the Olson-Boseman’s decision to switch political parties, according to a statement from Republican Party chairman Will Knecht.
“We had no conversations with her about her change to the Republican Party, nor do we plan to in the near future as she works through her legal issues,” he wrote.
“We denounce her party switch. The New Hanover County Republican Party will continue to support candidates and elected officials that believe in the rule of law, accountability, and strong Republican values.”
Wake County judge Norlan Graves ordered Olson-Boseman to comply or spend 90 days in a Wake County jail, starting at 6 pm July 22 through Monday at 8 am
As of Monday morning, Olson-Boseman has not been booked into the Wake County Detention Center, according to Eric Curry, public information officer for the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. The office also has not received an order for her arrest, which would have to come from a judge, Curry noted.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t received an order for her arrest either, according to public information officer Jerry Brewer.
The North Carolina State Bar has alleged in court filings that Olson-Boseman, a former lawyer, had mismanaged client money while closing her Wilmington law practice.
A Wake County court issued a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order in March against Olson-Boseman to prevent her from handling client funds and directing her to hand over financial records to the State Bar. Olson-Boseman had failed to comply with that court order, as of last week.
“Any time a judge issues an order to do something or refrain from doing something it is almost always enforceable by the power of contempt,” said Kyle Nutt, an attorney with Wilmington law firm Reiss & Nutt, PLLC. Nutt specializes almost exclusively in civil litigation.
Despite having a similar function, a court order for arrest is not an arrest warrant, according to Nutt.
An arrest warrant is typically issued by law enforcement when there’s probable cause to charge someone with a crime, an order for arrest for contempt of court order is issued by a judge and can usually be resolved by compliance with the original court order, Nutt said .
That means Olson-Boseman can resolve the court order by turning over the financial documents requested by State Bar investigators, which it appears she intends to do, according to Walthall, her lawyer.
Reporter Emma Dill can be reached at 910-343-2096 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Julia Olson-Boseman’s status unclear after failing to meet court order
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