N.C. legal professional common candidates maintain contentious race whereas combating for related targets | State and Regional Information

N.C. attorney general candidates hold contentious race while fighting for similar goals | State and Regional News

Earlier this campaign season, Stein launched a television commercial attacking O & # 39; Neill for allegedly leaving 1,500 sexual assault kits on a shelf and "rapists on the street."

"Jim O & # 39; Neill can't be our district attorney," says one woman in the commercial.

The advertising angered O & # 39; Neill. His own campaign website promotes his work on sexual assault cases.

And O & # 39; Neill adds that he had no control over the sexual assault kits. Stein told The News & Observer that it wasn't in O & # 39; Neill's job description to fix the backlog, but he said it wasn't in his either. Stein said O & # 39; Neill should rise and be a leader.

“What we want as attorneys general is someone who can identify and solve difficult problems,” Stein said.

The commercial resulted in one of Stein's associates, William "Bill" Hart Sr., resigning. Hart, who was the State Crime Lab's sexual assault initiative coordinator, said he supported the commercial's praise for Stein, but felt it was falsely targeting O & # 39; Neill and every other district attorney for something about that they had no control.

North Carolina law does not include prosecutors in the custody chain for sexual assault kits.

The kits are meant to go from the medical facility that performed the test to the local law enforcement agency and then to the State Crime Lab or an authorized laboratory and then back to law enforcement.