Outside district attorney will prosecute Richardson’s case

Published 3:36 am Friday, January 19, 2007

By Staff
Commissioner arrested Oct. 30 for disorderly conduct
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
An assistant district attorney from another county will be brought in to prosecute the disorderly conduct case against Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson.
Richardson was scheduled to appear in Beaufort County District Court on Thursday morning to face the charge that stems from his arrest at a Washington High School football game Oct. 30.
When his case number — 135 — was called during Thursday’s session, some people in the courtroom snickered. Local Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Jones said then that a continuance had been filed by the “D.A. in Lenoir County.”
During his bid for the state House seat held by Rep. Arthur Williams, D-Beaufort, Richardson handed out campaign literature at a Southside High School football game in October. Richardson’s fliers had referees’ signals on one side and his platform on the other. Richardson was arrested at his second high school stop of the night.
Richardson said he felt a special prosecutor was necessary for his case.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Muskus from District 8 has been assigned to the case, according to District Attorney Seth Edwards. Edwards usually handles cases in District 2, which covers Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Washington and Tyrrell counties. Muskus normally handles cases in Lenior, Greene and Wayne counties.
Edwards said Thursday he thought Richardson’s case would be heard Feb. 8.
“I still don’t know what was disorderly,” Richardson said the night he was arrested. He was released from the Beaufort County magistrate’s office that night after posting a $1,000 unsecured bond.
Bryant Hardison, the former chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Education, notified Richardson in writing before the October games to stop handing out the campaign literature at such events. Hardison cited both a school-board policy and a state statute.