Meredith Shuford-Candidate for Judge
The Truth Comes Out !!!
Shuford better suited for CoverGirl-Culture of Corruption? Man-hater or just a Clown?
Pieced together by Robert A. Williams
Meredith Shuford was appointed by Governor Mike Easley in 2007 to fill a newly formed Judge position in Cleveland and Lincoln Counties created by the General Assembly in 2006. Shuford took office in February 2007 and ran for the position in 2008 and was unopposed. This appointment of judges during an off election year and no lawyer running against that judge at election time is an old Democrat dirty trick that appears to be as old as the Democrat Party itself. But not this time around in 2012. Perhaps it is time to correct a mistake?
At the time of Shuford’s appointment, Governor Easley-well known for his “quid quo pro” (you scratch my back and I will scratch yours) style of politics, was beginning to pay off very well for Easley. That is before the FBI investigation resulted in Easley being the only NC Governor ever to plead guilty to a felony. It was a pretty good plea bargain though. Easley got to keep all the $Millions he stole and no jail time.
This “culture of corruption” surrounding Governor Easley; was Meredith Shuford a part of any of those schemes? Meredith Shuford was young, the youngest Judge in Cleveland and Lincoln County. She was not that good of an attorney, over half of her time, five of nine years, acting as the Lincoln County Guardian ad Litem Attorney. Actually a government paid attorney which does not usually attract the best attorneys in the jurisdiction. They usually suck up to the DSS system which usually punishes families and doesn’t protect children. Remember Jeremiah Swafford?
Anyway, Hey, we will do the digging, report what we find and you decide how to vote. Read On!!!
Now, a little history on Meredith Shuford.
Meredith’s father, Thomas Martin “Marty” Shuford is a Lincoln County Attorney partnered up with Attorney Robert Lewis. Meredith came to work with the Shuford & Lewis firm sometime after she became an attorney. Nothing unusual that a father would want to help give his daughter a start in her profession, especially when that profession is also his profession.
Marty Shuford apparently made a place for Meredith and she started doing grunt work for the firm. No info about any major cases that Meredith was involved in have shown up in my research. No positive info anyway. But more about Marty. Meredith’s dad.
Marty Shuford is a Republican and apparently had some pretty big statewide political connections. As a vacancy occurred in the Office of the Cleveland and Lincoln County District Attorney Office around 1985, Republican NC Governor James Martin appointed Marty Shuford as the High District Attorney. (Lincoln County Republicans pulled this off. Cleveland County had no openly Republican Attorneys at that time. Cleveland County Republicans were scared of elected leadership positions at that time as they are today.) The Democrats had controlled the High DA Office for forever and when election time rolled around in 1986 the Democrats went all out to get the High DA Office back under Democrat control.
The Democrats ran Shelby attorney Bill Young. Maybe because Young’s dad had deep pockets and that the Democrats could get the DA Office back without having to spend a lot of their own money? Maybe not. But the Democrats wanted the DA Office back real bad. The Democrats had totally controlled Cleveland County for over 100 years in 1986, and just like today, no Republican DA was going to put any big shot Cleveland County Democrat in jail.
So, Bill Young ran all kinds of campaign ads in the Shelby Star and the Shelby Star was happy with Bill Young. (Note that The Star is always happy with those that spend a lot of money in their advertisements. First National Bank and Destination Cleveland County to mention a few.) Young’s adds stated he would not plea bargain, that he was going to put criminals in jail for a long time. Fast too. Bill Young was going to sweep crime off the street in Shelby and Cleveland County. (If he had swept crime off the street we wouldn’t have been needing more judges in 2006 would we?) And the Cleveland County Democrat voters in 1986 went for it. Just like they did 20 years later when they elected Richard Leroy Shaffer the High DA because Bill Young was likely to lose the election in 2006 to a Republican. Shaffer ran as a prosecutor, but since Shaffer’s election he hardly ever prosecutes. Shaffer kept on just like Bill Young ran in 1986 on NO plea bargains, then plea bargained many of the crooks back on the streets. Them Shelby lawyers gotta make money too, I reckon. Quid Pro Quo-Just like Mike Easley in 2007 when Meredith Shuford gets appointed?
But where was the quid pro quo with Easley appointing Meredith Shuford as Judge? Easley is a yellow dog Democrat and would never appoint a Republican to anything. (Except maybe if the Republican was as crooked as the Democrats Easley was used to dealing with? Don’t know if Easley ever found a Republican that crooked.) Marty Shuford is still a Registered Republican. Meredith Shuford is now a registered Democrat. Don’t know if she changed her registration like Anna Dina Foster did to get Gov Hunt to appoint her as a Judge. But Anna Dina Foster later changed her registration to Unaffiliated.
The quid pro quo regarding Meredith Shuford may lie somewhere else besides favors for her daddy. Meredith Shuford may be as pure as the driven snow regarding her daddy’s quid pro quo. This quid pro quo business is hard to track sometimes. So, let’s track a little more.
Governor Mike Easley got his law school education from North Carolina Central University. A historically black university that is still overwhelmingly Black. Lots of corruption there too, but that is another story.) Easley’s wife, Mary Easley, was a law professor at NC Central about the time Meredith Shuford was in law school. Mary Easley went on to get appointed by Gov. Mike Easley to a cushy do nothing but collect a big paycheck job over at NC State. Then somebody exposes the Mary Easley scandal and blows the whistle. Mary gets fired and Mike gets charged and that is that.
But not before Meredith Shuford comes along in all this mess and graduates too from the NC Central Law School. Then, about the time right before the Easley Scandal breaks out, Gov. Easley appoints Meredith Shuford as judge in Cleveland and Lincoln Counties. Thanks a lot Gov, and head NC crook, Mike Easley. Easley had appointed another judge to the Appeals Court after the people voted the judge off the NC Supreme Court where fellow buddy Democrat Jim Hunt had appointed him. This quid quo pro stuff runs deep in NC politics.
Still, Maybe Meredith Shuford had no part at all in that and Shuford was the only person Mike Easley ever appointed to anything where Easley’s back didn’t get his back scratched too. Maybe Meredith Shuford was just such a good attorney that she stood head and shoulders above all the other more experienced and well known attorneys?
Wrong again. Meredith Shuford was, by several accounts, a terrible attorney. According to her own campaign website Attorney Meredith Shuford spent five of her nine years as a lawyer as Lincoln County’s Guardian ad Litem Attorney. Protecting children she says. Or does it say protecting the “best interest” of children? Either way, If she was so good, why didn’t Cleveland County (Jeremiah Swafford) or Catawba County (Zarha Baker) ask for help in protecting their children too? No, it appears that lawyers (and certain agencies too, especially the DSS) use “protecting children” as a way to make money for themselves while the children they are supposed to be protect get abused and murdered like never before. Well, maybe Meredith Shuford saved the lives of some children that we will never hear about. Maybe not. When we say terrible lawyer, we are talking about the LAW.
As a lawyer Meredith Shuford ended up representing Jeffry Shuford, a young black Lincolnton man who DA Rick Leroy Shaffer had just convicted as a habitual offender and sent to prison for 12 years. From my research Jeffry Shuford had sealed his fate several years before. Two underage white girls, daughters of high level Lincoln County Judicial System parents, drive (perhaps too underage to have drivers licenses but when your parents are the “In crowd” you don’t need drivers licenses) over to the bad side of town looking for drugs and run across Jeffry Shuford. By the way, this was Jeffry’s own story to me. I believed it then and I believe it now. And along the way I went over to the Lincoln County Courthouse and checked the record. All records indicated Jeffry was telling the truth. Read on and judge for yourself.
Anyway, at 16 Jeffry, due to his interface with the two white girls, gets arrested on felony child sex charges. The girl won’t testify but Jeffry goes to jail for 18 months with no trial. The bond is too high for Jeffry to get out of jail. Guess who sets bond? The people close to the people whose daughters ran across Jeffry on their quest to get some drugs. So, after a year and a half in jail with no trial in sight, Jeffry gets a deal from the DA. Plead guilty and you can get out of jail for time already served. It is an old DA trick. If you can’t convict someone on the evidence, keep them in jail awaiting trial, often for years. Then offer a plea bargain so they plead guilty to something and get out of jail for time already served. It makes the DAs of the world look good. They get a guilty plea on charges that they cannot prove. There is no justice. Remember “innocent until proven guilty?” Not so in Shelby and Lincolnton. Jeffry Shuford is only one of many who spend years in the Cleveland and Lincoln County Jail waiting on a trial. Right now Kathy Swafford Justice (Jeremiah Swaffords’s mama) has been in Jail for over three years waiting on her trial. But that is another story.
Back to Meredith Shuford.
So young Jeffry jumps at the chance to get out of jail and takes the plea bargain felony charge. Jeffry never realized that he was in store for bigger tricks from the Courthouse In-Crowd. It doesn’t take long and Jeffry gets caught up in something else. Another piddling charge puffed up into a felony. Another go round and then the third piddling charge puffed up into a felony. Another eight or nine months in jail and this time Jeffry gets a habitual felon charge hooked on. Jeffry Shuford’s goose is cooked. Jeffry gets 10+ years in prison.
Jeffry tells the tale that his Court appointed Attorney never prepares the case, does this and that-improperly. The DA does things improperly too. Lots of Judicial system mistakes. Jeffry eventually is assigned another Court Appointed Attorney to draw up an appeal. You got it-MEREDITH SHUFORD.
Young and inexperienced, Lincolnton Attorney Meredith Shuford digs into the case and comes up with 50 mistakes made in Jeffry’s trial and conviction. Meredith files the appeal and Jeffry is ecstatic that justice will finally be done. To make a long story short, Jeffry is wrong about getting any justice when you mess with the Courthouse Crowd’s daughters. The Appeals Court ruled against 49 of the 50 mistakes or judicial errors Meredith Shuford had come up with. Meredith’s only win was someone had made a typographical error on some of the Court paper work. The Appeals Court orders the Lincolnton County Clerk of Court to correct the typo, but Jeffry stays in prison for his whole sentence. Case Closed. Jeffry will spend over half of his adult life in prison for his piddling puffed up crimes. Meredith makes no Appeal to the NC Supreme Court.
But, maybe lawyer Meredith Shuford was right and there were truly 50 errors in Jeffry’s trial. We are inclined to agree with Meredith Shuford on this point. We reviewed the Appeals documents and every one of the 49 items the Appeals Court ruled against appeared to be correct. We believe lawyer Meredith Shuford should have been able to get an unjust trial, full of judicial mistakes, overturned on the legal face of it. Maybe the Appeals Court judges were buddies with the Lincoln County Courthouse too and were helping get rid of the likes of Jeffry Shuford. But Meredith Shuford did not get an obvious injustice corrected. Maybe she didn’t really mean to get justice for Jeffry Shuford in the first place. All these Courthouse parents who wanted Jeffry Shuford in jail forever for messing with their daughters were Meredith’s friends too. Maybe that is where the quid quo pro that runs throughout the judicial system, top to bottom, was at work here. Maybe not. Anyway, after the Appeal ruling Meredith Shuford just moved on to greener pastures. For herself anyway. Old Jeffry Shuford was about to spend 10 years in prison for puffed up crimes he didn’t appear to have committed.
Not too long after the 50 point loss in the Appeals Court Meredith Shuford finds herself appointed to a new judge position in Lincoln and Cleveland Counties. Now Meredith gets her chance to shine, right? WRONG!!!
One of the particularly bad court cases I heard about with Meredith Shuford as judge involved the mother of the handicapped girl that was killed in the TAAC van collision on Highway 18 about midway between Fallston and Shelby. TAAC and Cleveland County were covering up and the mother was looking for justice in the death of her daughter. The Cleveland County EMS was covering up too. (This story was covered extensively in previous issues of the Citizens For Good Government.) And typically when Cleveland County agencies cover up for some wrongdoing, they usually make false attacks on their accusers.
In this particular matter EMS worker, Dwayne Dawson, says the mother was stalking him when she came to the Shelby hospital where her daughter was taken, dying from the TAAC van collision. Dawson asked for a continuance and the mother made a motion in court to dismiss the case, stating the charges were false and made for improper purposes. Judge (HaHa) Shuford said that false charges made for improper purposes was not good enough for her to dismiss a case. Dawson was granted his continuance. At the hearing, Judge (HaHa) Dina Foster ruled that the mother had indeed come to the hospital to stalk Dwayne Dawson instead of to see her dying daughter and put a restraining order on the mother.
Of course all this was written up in my previous CGG article. I had even used cartoons of clowns to represent Meredith Shuford and Dina Foster because of their outrageous rulings in this case and in many more cases.
So, Cleveland and Lincoln Counties, you have a choice now. Do you have to be fooled a dozen times by Meredith Shuford and the Courthouse In-Crowd before you do anything about it? For once in a Blue Moon you have the opportunity to get rid of a politically connected official and a “clown” for a Judge at the ballot box. Vote Meredith Shuford out of office by voting for Gwynn Radeker on Election Day.
Folks, if you think I have left a few things out, well I have. Judge (HaHa) Meredith Shuford was married to Brian Zagowski for ten years and has two children. Somewhere along the line Zagowski and Meredith Shuford split up and Shuford gets the kids. Perhaps Shuford has developed a bias against men who are fathers and that is related to her rulings as Judge. I won’t speak to that as this article is long enough already. But if you are interested in learning that Judge Meredith Shuford has built a reputation of bias against North Carolina fathers by her crazy ruling against men, crank up the internet and go to: http://ncfathers.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/judge-meredith-shuford-cleveland-and-lincoln-county-nc-district-and-family-courts/
Please vote on Election Day and take someone with you. Vote for Gwynn Radeker