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NC courts ask Mecklenburg Commissioner Leake to stop calling a judge about a pending case

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Mecklenburg County
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Mecklenburg Commissioner Vilma Leake said it's a "lie" that she called District Court Judge Rex Marvel more than one time.

An attorney with the Administrative Office of the Courts in Raleigh sent Mecklenburg County Commissioner Vilma Leake a letter last month, telling her to stop contacting District Court Judge Rex Marvel about pending cases.

According to the letter, Leake called Marvel on March 22 to discuss one of the judge’s child welfare cases.

Marvel told her he was not allowed to discuss the case and “promptly” ended the call. The county’s chief District Court judge, Elizabeth Trosch, then contacted a Mecklenburg County attorney, Twyla Hollingsworth, asking her to tell Leake to stop contacting Marvel.

But Leake continued to call Marvel seven times over the next five days, according to the letter. The March 30 letter from the Administrative Office of the Courts instructed Leake to “respect the prohibition on contacting Marvel.”

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Administrative Office of the Courts
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A portion of the letter the Administrative Office of the Courts sent to Mecklenburg Commissioner Vilma Leake

In an interview with WFAE, Leake said a constituent asked her for help in a case. She said she only called Marvel one time.

“That’s a lie — I never called but once,” Leake said. “That’s not true. He told a lie. Well, you know I don’t have that kind of time (to make multiple calls).”

Marvel said he could not comment, but he did say that the letter from the Administrative Office of the Courts is accurate.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.