Former Guilford County Commissioner Wallace-or Wally-Harrelson has died. He was 74. Harrelson was the County's longtime Public Defender. Colleagues remember him as a mentor and a strong criminal defense lawyer. Howard Neumann, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, worked with Harrelson for 25 years:
"I don't know of anyone who has worked as hard for his clients as Mr. Harrelson did. He was a real, what we call, old-school lawyer. Did it the old fashion way."
Harrelson was sworn into office in 1970. Since his appointment, the Public Defender's Office has expanded from a staff of five to a staff of over thirty investigators, assistants and secretaries all handling nearly 10,000 cases annually.