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School board wants bond forfeitures

By Staff
Says bondsman owes $186,350 to school system
By CLAUD HODGES
Senior Reporter
The Beaufort County Board of Education wants Washington bail bondsman Joe Boston to pay $186,350 the school board says he owes the county’s schools.
The school board is questioning bond forfeitures tied to Boston in 129 cases — 95 in Beaufort County District Court and 34 in Beaufort County Superior Court — that the school board says are owed by Boston to the school system.
As a registered bail bondsman, Boston posted bond in the 129 cases for the defendants so that they could be released from jail.
Typically, a bondsman requires a fee from a defendant to pay for the bondsman’s service of posting bond for the defendant. In North Carolina, a registered bondsman is allowed to sign for the defendant’s release from jail without the bondsman having to put up money for that release.
According to state law, a bondsman’s obligation to the court after posting bond for a defendant is to deliver the defendant to court on that defendant’s court date. If the defendant does not appear in court on that court date, the bondsman is required to pay the bond amount to the state. In North Carolina, that bond money goes to the school system in the county in which the court is located.
In court motions filed in Beaufort County on Feb. 22, the school board says that the defendants in the 129 cases were represented by Boston and did not show up in court on their court dates.
For those Feb. 22 court motions, court dates were set after the school board’s filings. March 14 was set as the court date in the District Court cases. March 17 was set as the court date in the Superior Court cases. The court dates have been continued since.
The school board says that Boston did not notify the board of education’s attorney within a prescribed 10-day period when the bondsman is asking for a bond forfeiture so the school board’s attorney is given the chance to object to the bondsman’s request of a bond forfeiture from the court.
Calvin King, Boston’s attorney, did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment on the case. King’s office is in New Bern.
The school board is asking the court to require Boston to pay the $186,350, Malone said. He said the 129 cases are ones that the board has found. He said there might be more.
A judge from outside the 2nd Prosecutorial District, of which Beaufort County is a part, is being sought to come to Beaufort County to hear and act on the school board’s request for the bond forfeiture money to be paid to the school system by Boston.
He said it looks like a hearing on the matter might come about in late July.
It is possible that an agreement might be met between the school board and Boston that would keep the matter out of court.