April 8, 2022
While investigating what goes on in the District Attorney’s office, it seems that whatever Ted Bell says goes (even though he tries to say the State dictates most of his decisions.) Yesterday during my questioning about how things work in the office, it was said that Mr. Bell commonly changes court dates by moving them up from the originally scheduled dates without notifying the victims, the defendants, or the attorneys involved.
It seems that would be considered a denial of due process. After talking to several attorneys in the area who didn’t disagree, I found that regardless of that, it is, in fact, happening. I asked if this was not illegal, as it seems to violate everyone’s right to know their trial date. The attorneys said it was totally up to Ted Bell and he is known for doing it frequently.
When checking with several courthouses in adjoining counties the majority of them have a notification system in place if a trial date is changed so that all parties are aware. In Ted Bell’s courthouses both here in Rutherford County and in McDowell County, the attorney’s have to check online every single day, sometimes twice a day, to try to keep up with date changes.
In some cases they are actually just posted on the board in the courthouse where persons actually have to physically come in and look for them. (see example)
This should be totally unacceptable. Victims have no idea that dates have been changed, witnesses are unaware, police officers and defendants do not know. People have to get childcare and take time off work to go to these things. Yet, Ted Bell can just arbitrarily move a trial date up as it suits him with no regard to how it affects everyone involved.
Now, one reason I have heard being given is that he says the trial docket is too full and changes have to be made. That could be understood if he moved it to a later date and then informed all the parties involved in those incidences, but to move it up……???
The question to ask is about the “fairness” of this. One can go with the fact that it’s not criminal, as we all know Mr. Bell had a definite idea about what is and isn’t a criminal act (ex. Former Judge Randy Pool). Yet this does seem it could create a ripe environment for personal vendettas against specific people or lawyers.
Also between Mr. Bell and the Clerk’s office there should be enough staff that someone could make sure people are notified that their trial date had changed. You cannot reasonably expect people who do not work in the criminal justice division to know how to check the docket online or come by the courthouse to see what is posted. Most persons are nervous about just going into the courthouse for any reason.
It seems that more and more about the “goings on” in this office are coming to light. There is much more happening than just meets the eye. Lord John Edward Acton said in 1887 “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That is why transparency in this office is so vital to this community.
Please think about your vote for District Attorney in the primary this May. (Unaffiliated voters can choose to vot in the GOP primary.) It will decide the race as there is not anyone from another party running.
If after close scrutiny you feel Ted Bell is the right man for the job then so be it, but if you have questions….. any questions at all about how he has handled WOFF cases, police investigations, courthouse behaviors, long trial wait times, or the Judge Pool case, then vote for Krinn Evans. Give an experienced criminal attorney a chance to be transparent with the community that elected them and get this backlog of cases through the court system. Vote for someone who will put the people first.
Ask questions, be aware. Make your vote count for you as well as your community.