New Deputy DA Sworn In

Chelsea Forbes takes the oath of office as assistant district attorney as District Attorney Greg Newman looks on. Chief District Court Judge Athena Brooks administered the oath of office.

When Chief District Judge Athena Brooks administered the oath of office to Chelsea Forbes at 9:25 Wednesday morning, the young lawyer became more than the newest prosecutor in town. She became the first African-American prosecutor in the 29th Judicial District (now 29B).
"What I wanted was somebody to come in that was new, that had an interest in criminal law and can help our office reflect more of the racial aspect of our community," said Newman, who was named top prosecutor for  Henderson, Transylvania and Polk counties after Gov. Pat McCrory appointed veteran District Attorney Jeff Hunt to a special judgeship. "I just feel like we need to be a little more sensitive to that."
The daughter of Dianne and Terry Forbes, Forbes, 26, graduated from Hoke County High School and earned a criminal justice degree at UNC-Wilmington before receiving her law degree from N.C. Central University in Durham. Her father, a 1st sergeant in the Army, was stationed in Fort Bragg in Fayetteville; her mother was in the Army, too.
"I think it's definitely important" to achieve greater diversity in the prosecutor's office, she said. "I thank Greg for that and for recognizing the fact that there is a disparity out there now in our profession."
Forbes replaces Assistant District Attorney Chris Griffin, who took another job in his hometown of Charlotte. She is engaged to be married on Oct.

Story and photo from Hendersonville Lightning