11/09/04 — Strange case: Former judge made bizarre allegations

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Strange case: Former judge made bizarre allegations

Bizarre. That’s perhaps the best word to describe the actions of a former District Court judge whose conduct is being studied by a disciplinary panel of the State Bar.

Former Judge Pattie Harrison, a Republican from Roxboro, was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jim Martin in 1991 to fill a vacancy. She subsequently lost out in the Republican primary. Later, she ran against an incumbent District Court judge and lost in that bid.

Ms. Harrison has accused two District Court judges and seven lawyers of conspiring to hire someone to kill her.

She also accused two judges and six lawyers of hiring a lawyer to file 200 false claims against her.

The allegations were made in claims filed with the State Bar and the U.S. Justice Department.

The SBI has been unable to find any basis for her charges. Lawyers have called the allegations “crazy” and “bald-faced” lies.

Certainly it would appear implausible that two judges and seven lawyers in this state would conspire to have a former judge and fellow lawyer assassinated.

Ms. Harrison appears, at best, to be paranoid.

The State Bar is considering if she should be reprimanded — or even disbarred — for her conduct.

Perhaps what the woman really needs is some psychiatric help. Taking away her ability to make a livelihood would appear to be a last option.

Published in Editorials on November 9, 2004 11:30 AM