03/07/05 — Newest prosecutor has New England roots

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Newest prosecutor has New England roots

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 7, 2005 1:46 PM

The newest assistant in the District Attorney's Office in Wayne County had no idea that he wanted to be a lawyer, much less prosecute criminals.

Tom Perlungher, 29, grew up in Keene, N.H.

He was graduated from the University of Vermont in 1998 with a major in geography and a minor in history but had no law-school aspirations at the time.

"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do," he said.

A few years later he decided to pursue a career in law and entered the Wake Forest University law school. he was graduated from Wake Forest in 2002 and moved to Massachusetts, where he performed real estate law with a firm until last June.

He moved to North Carolina in July, passed the North Carolina bar exam and joined the Wayne district attorney's office in September.

"When I started law school, the idea of being in court every day and having trials frightened me," he said. "But I got rid of those fears rather quickly."

Perlungher has worked in District Court. His only experience in Superior Court were two trial for which juries returned not-guilty verdicts.

A big reason for his coming to North Carolina, Perlungher said, was because his mother, Jane Rustin, works as a librarian for the Wayne County Public Library. His brother, Richard, is an assistant district attorney in Cleveland County.

Perlungher said he enjoys televised sports, especially watching the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. He also plays golf.

Perlungher and his wife, Sarah, live in southeastern Wayne County but he said they hope to move closer to Goldsboro. They have been married for about a year. She teaches Spanish at Wayne Country Day School.