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Indicted attorney's case delayed

February 6, 2012

The extortion and obstruction of justice case involving ex-district attorney candidate Shawn Clark was delayed Monday after lawyers sought to resolve an “administrative issue” in the case.

Clark, a defense attorney based in Hickory, is accused of issuing threats and false affidavits to cover up an alleged sexual relationship with a former client, Tiffany Turnmire, in 2009.

The charges against Clark surround a series of alleged incidents that occurred a few months prior to Clark’s May 2010 district 25 attorney primary race against incumbent James C. Gaither Jr.

Clark eventually lost the primary by less than 250 votes.

Senior Deputy Attorney General James J. Coman filed the indictments charging Clark, who has continued to practice cases in Catawba County.

Coman was in Catawba County Superior Court briefly Monday before he, Clark and Clark’s attorney, David Freedman, retreated to Judge Beverly Beal’s chambers to discuss an “administrative issue” in the case.

After talking with the group for about five minutes, Beal said the administrative matter needed to be addressed by resident Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid.

Kincaid was not in Catawba County on Monday. Attorneys in the case said they will try to contact him in the coming days.

Neither attorney commented as to what the “administrative issue” was.

What happened?
The indictments — which follow a long-term investigation by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation — accuse Clark of threatening Turnmire and his former secretary, Terri Edwards, to lie about the alleged sexual relationship in court. Clark is also accused of drafting a false affidavit used to “defraud the court” and defeat lawsuits brought about by Tim Turnmire after he learned about the affair.

Tim Turnmire sued Clark for alienation of affection in January 2010 — shortly after Clark announced his intention to run for election — claiming Clark maintained an affair with his wife and paid to fly her to visit him in Las Vegas.

Clark filed a countersuit against Tiffany Turnmire for libel, slander and intentional inflection of emotional distress.

At the time, Clark told The O-N-E that he was trying to rescue Turnmire from a violent situation when he flew her to Las Vegas for a weekend.

Clark now says the allegations never happened and calls the indictments a “warning shot” to anyone wanting to run for district attorney in the future.

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