Belk described as bully during Judicial Standards hearing

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by By NewsChannel 36 Staff E-mail Us:

WCNC.com

Posted on September 10, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 1 at 8:48 PM

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Judge Belk faces Judicial Standards Commission

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Mecklenburg County Judge Bill Belk faced the Judicial Standards Commission in Raleigh on Thursday with his job on the line.

The commission will determine whether Belk will keep his job as a judge. Belk is accused of "willful misconduct."

Among other things, the commission cited him for what it called "disparaging comments" about a chief justice. Belk is also on the board of Sonic Automotive and the Judicial Standards Commission views that as a conflict.

During the hearing on Thursday, Chief Judge Lisa Bell described an angry confrontation with Belk last February.

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"He said I was a media hound and a political hack. This continued as we walked to the door. By the time we were in the doorframe, he stood within approximately 4-18 inches of my space and screamed at me to leave him the hell alone," Bell said.

Belk said he was trying to talk with Bell about his court assignments and he was frustrated because she wouldn't listen.

Bell says she was afraid for her safety.

"I was in my office, crying, shaking. I didn't know what to do," she said.

After the hearing adjourned, Belk said he expected to be characterized as a bully.

"You expect something like that because propaganda is the other person's point of view and it's always slanted," Belk said. "They got to go up first and they're going to put their best face on what they're trying to accomplish. You can't get upset about that because I understand where they're coming from. But I'm trying to get out my message about legal reform."

The hearing ended at 5 p.m. Thursday. It will resume at a later date, but that date hasn't been set.

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