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Cooper makes appointment

Andrew Murray to replace DA Newman

POLK COUNTY—Polk County has a new district attorney.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper appointed R. Andrew Murray, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District as the acting district attorney for District 42, which serves Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties. 

Murray will replace Greg Newman, who was removed from office last week. 

Murray oversaw the prosecution of violent crimes for the western district of North Carolina from 2017 until 2021. He formerly served as the district attorney of Mecklenburg County from 2011 until 2017. 

Murray has a B.A. in political science and government from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1980 and resigned as a U.S. Coast Guard reservist after 35 years of service. 

Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin removed Newman from office last week following testimony in a rare case. 

The trial against Newman was held in Henderson County Superior Court April 12-14 after a petition was filed against Newman. The petition was filed to have Newman removed for his alleged pattern of chronic and unrepentant misconduct. The petition claimed that Newman had mishandled cases and failed to prosecute felonies. 

Ervin was the judge and jury in the case and made the decision. The trial included testimony both for and against Newman. 

Ervin’s order found that Newman engaged in willful misconduct in office and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which brings the office into disrepute under North Carolina General Statute 7A-66. 

Newman was ordered to leave office immediately. 

Newman was appointed as district attorney in 2013, then won the office uncontested in 2014 and 2018. He was up for re-election in 2022.