Easley Taps Krueger as Moore DA
A local attorney and former prosecutor will be Moore County's first district attorney.
Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday appointed Maureen Krueger to the new post, created when the North Carolina General Assembly provided funds last year to make this county a single prosecutorial district. She will be sworn in Tuesday.
"Maureen Krueger's work both as an assistant district attorney and private practitioner has prepared her to accept the responsibilities of the District Attorney for Moore County," Easley said in a statement. "I am confident that she will bring the same commitment and dedication to the office that she has displayed throughout her career."
Previously, Moore County was in a district with Montgomery and Randolph counties. Garland Yates is the district attorney. His office is in Asheboro.
Krueger worked for Yates as an assistant district attorney before starting her own private practice in Carthage. She and Assistant District Attorney Warren McSweeney both asked for the job and were interviewed. McSweeney later dropped out.
"I just found out half an hour ago," Krueger said in a hurried cell phone call Thursday. "I am running through the courthouse as we speak."
Seeking the job wasn't her idea to start with. She was busy defending clients.
"Actually, a law-enforcement officer in Moore County came to me and asked me to seek this appointment," Krueger said last fall. "The first thing that happened was one stopping me in the courthouse and saying, 'I heard you are going to be our next district attorney.' I was humbled, absolutely humbled -- honored at the suggestion."
Krueger had always been close to them. During her six years as an assistant district attorney, she had ridden with them on patrol and taught them in Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) at Sandhills Community College. She went out in the field with officers executing search warrants, doing probation searches, and even turned up at murder scenes in the middle of the night.
Krueger and her husband, Rick Edelman, make their home and are rearing their children in a home south of Carthage. He operates an eBay business selling online in the old Carthage Fire Department, a block from his wife's offices upstairs in Hurley Thompson's building.
Without knowing whom Easley would appoint, little preparation could have been made in the brick building on the old town square that houses district attorneys' offices. One office, in front, is presently empty. Last Monday, Jan. 8, Assistant District Attorney Alan Greene spent his final day in Carthage wrapping up pleas and postponements at Moore County Superior Court. Then he packed up, and moved everything out. Greene is staying on Yates' staff, and as a result will be working in the Troy office.
With no particular preparations made for the new district attorney, Greene's office by the front windows, looking out at the old Carthage Courthouse and the newer courts facility beyond, stood vacant most of the week.
Krueger has a lot to do. She has to find counsel for clients facing criminal charges. She will now be on the other side. She'll have to decide what to do about her own staff, and meet with present staff at the district attorney's office in Carthage, to see who would like to stay.
Details of transition will not be new to Krueger. That is what she came here to do in the first place, working on the changes in 1997 when Moore moved from the 20th district to join Randolph and Montgomery as 19B. Previously, Moore County had been in a district with Richmond, Stanley, Anson and Union counties.
"I know how to do the job," she said last year, talking about applying for the DA appointment. "I joined the district attorney's staff in 1997 to be part of the transition team when Moore joined 19B -- so I know, have known from the beginning, what this coming transition will be like."
Krueger received her undergraduate degree from Northern Kentucky University in 1993 and her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1996.
She had studied law in the first place with a dream of serving the public rather than private clients.
"I went to law school to be a prosecutor," she said. "I felt it was a vocation, a calling to public service. I had a moment when it came to me that it was what I was meant to do with my life. That is why I went to law school -- not to seek partnership in a big firm, or even to open my own office someday -- but to go into court as the voice of the people. I wanted to be the person who brings justice."
John Chappell can be reached at 783-5841 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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