A former Davidson County prosecutor sent a text message offering $20,000 to a District Court judge in an effort to get the judge’s husband to drop out of the race for a Superior Court judge seat, according to an indictment returned Tuesday.
The reason for the alleged bribe was simple, according to the indictment: She was running for the same Superior Court seat.
Wendy Joyce Terry, 43, of River Oaks Lane in Advance was indicted on six charges, including two counts of felony buying and selling offices.
Terry was also charged with felony obstructing justice, misdemeanor primary/election violation, attempt to obtain property by false pretenses and attempt to violate campaign contribution limitation.
The indictment alleges that Terry sent a text message on July 23 to Judge April Wood of Davidson District Court, offering to contribute $20,000 to Wood’s campaign if Wood convinced her husband, Lexington lawyer Jeffrey Berg Jr., to drop out of the race to unseat Judge Theodore Royster of Davidson Superior Court, who is up for re-election in 2016.
Terry is also running for the seat.
Under state law, Terry is limited to giving $5,100 to a candidate’s campaign.
The indictment also alleges that sometime between July 21 and July 22, Terry also tried to get Berg to run for a District Court seat by offering to pay his filing fee.
All six District Court judges, including Wood, are up for re-election in 2018.
Terry resigned Tuesday after 10 years as assistant district attorney in Judicial District 22B, which covers Davidson and Davie counties.
She was the prime contact for Project Safe Davidson, a collaboration between the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement, including Lexington police, to crack down on chronic violent offenders and reduce recidivism, according to Garry Frank, the district attorney for Davie and Davidson counties.
Terry, whose annual salary was $62,000, prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases.
Terry, who is married to Judge Carlton Terry of Davidson District Court, did not return a voice mail left at her home.
Frank confirmed last week that he had put Terry on administrative leave at the end of July.
He requested an SBI investigation, and the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts appointed Tom Horner, the district attorney for Alleghany, Ashe, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, to be in charge of any potential prosecution arising out of the SBI investigation.
Frank deferred all questions about the investigation to Horner, who did not return messages Wednesday requesting comment.
Terry is out on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Davidson District Court on Oct. 5, three days after her 44th birthday.