Durham officially has a new district attorney.
Retired judge Leon Stanback was sworn in as the acting DA in a private ceremony today, according to courts administrator Kathy Shuart.
Stanback did not want to have a public ceremony. He was sworn in by Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, the senior resident judge in the county.
Stanback, a judge in Durham from 1989 to 2009, is filling in for suspended DA Tracey Cline, who faces a hearing about the possible removal from her elected office next week over allegations she has leveled at Hudson.
Stanback has said he will serve as long as needed.
He was appointed last week by Gov. Bev Perdue. His appointment was effective Feb. 1, according to the official commission that put him in the office.
"He will serve at my pleasure or until his appointment is terminated by operation of law," the document signed by Perdue says.
Calls to Stanback at the DA's office were not immediately returned.
The receptionist had not yet absorbed the change, answering with greetings from "the office of Tracey Cline."
UPDATE: Stanback said in an interview that he did not want a public swearing-in ceremony given the circumstances. He took the oath in Hudson's office. "And then I went to work," he said.
-- J. Andrew Curliss