New Hanover County Commissioners Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman has asked the N.C. State Bar to consent to a motion to temporarily lift an order for her arrest related to her alleged financial mismanagement while working as a private attorney.
In a letter sent Monday to the deputy counsel for the state bar, Olson-Boseman admits she didn’t keep proper ledgers and acknowledges she deserves to be disciplined.
Also Monday, the New Hanover County Democratic Party issued a statement urging the chairwoman to resign. Olson-Boseman recently switched her political party affiliation from Democrat to Republican after losing her re-election bid on the Democratic ticket in the May primary.
On Friday, the chairwoman’s deadline to respond to financial records inquiries from the bar passed, and a Wake County judge issued a civil arrest warrant, according to WECT, which was stationed at the courthouse.
The outlet reported the judge found Olson-Boseman in contempt of court last Monday, July 18, for failing to turn over records and appear in two court hearings. Social media posts show the chairwoman appeared to be traveling out of the country.
Asked to address why she didn’t share a response with the state bar prior to the court’s deadline, Olson-Boseman said in a statement to the Greater Wilmington Business Journal she thought her previous attorney had provided all requested documents. “I have great respect for the legal profession,” she said. “My attorney will provide whatever the bar requests.”
Olson-Boseman’s Monday letter is addressed to Robert Weston, the state bar’s deputy counsel who she previously accused of leading a “witch hunt” against her. The state bar had previously obtained a preliminary injunction against Olson-Boseman for allegedly distributing client funds to her personal account while winding down her legal practice last year, WECT previously reported.
In the letter, she asks Weston for permission to surrender her law license as soon as possible. For several requested bank statements and deposit forms for various accounts, Olson-Boseman tells Weston she doesn’t readily have the documents but that her new attorney, Joshua Walthall, has requested access from the bank to obtain them.
“I readily admit that I did not conduct reconciliations or keep ledgers as I should have. I am incredibly sorry for my failure to comply with the regulations governing trust account recordkeeping in this regard.
“Moreover, I acknowledge that I deserve to be disciplined for my shortcomings here. To that end, it has been and remains my desire to surrender my law license due to my failures to comply with the trust accounting rules. I would have already done so had the Bar allowed me to,” she wrote in the letter.
Weston forwarded an inquiry to an N.C. State Bar spokesperson who did not immediately return a request to comment.
In a statement, New Hanover County Democratic Party Chairman Andre Brown said, “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.”
On her party switch, Brown said, "We hope she finds a home in a party that shares her values.”
In a statement released Monday, New Hanover County Republican Party Chairman Will Knecht said the party was as surprised as anyone by Olson-Boseman's party switch. "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 said. "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."
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the title of the N.C. State Bar.
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