County commissioner’s contempt of court case closed

A county commissioners legal troubles appear to be wrapped up, at least in part.
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 5:16 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A county commissioners legal troubles appear to be wrapped up, at least in part. After a judge issued an order for arrest, and found New Hanover County Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman in contempt of court, she was told to provide documents to the North Carolina State Bar or face jail time.

A judge later lifted the order for her arrest for 21 days so she could comply with the order to turn over banking records to the NCSB.

The NCSB is investigating allegations of mishandling of client money from when Olson-Boseman was still practicing law.

Despite the closure of the case, Olson-Boseman isn’t in the clear yet since those documents are crucial for the NCSB to determine if the former lawyer’s actions are grounds for disciplinary action.

Although the injunction was ordered in March, the State Bar has been asking for bank account information since at least December of 2021. Had Olson-Boseman turned over the banking records the State Bar asked for from her now-closed law practice much of the information that has since been revealed, would have likely stayed out of the public eye.

Not only could she face reprisal from the State Bar, which, only has the authority to impose consequences in an administrative capacity, like stripping her of her law license, criminal charges are not off the table. That’s because the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is also looking into her actions, and if the NCSB’s investigation reveals any criminal wrongdoing, a special prosecutor has already been notified of the case, and is tasked with handling that.

An email from Olson-Boseman’s former attorney, in January of 2022 to the state bar reveals Olson-Boseman transferred her law clients to another attorney – Frank Pope in May of 2021. But when it came to closing out her client trust accounts, she couldn’t say what money belonged to which clients. And Pope refused to accept the money.

The Wake County Clerk of court could not confirm if Olson-Boseman turned over all of the records that were required by the injunction-- only that the case was closed by the order of preliminary injunction. Since that injunction required she turn over those documents, and letters from her attorney to the NCSB show she had already complied with the order and turned over some of them last month, it’s possible that she has now complied with the order in full.

Olson-Boseman’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment on this matter.