The Latest: Prosecutors will keep working during state probe

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) " The Latest on a North Carolina district attorney calling for investigation into his prosecutors after an AP story (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

A spokesman for a North Carolina district attorney says two of his prosecutors who are members of a North Carolina church where former congregants say officials beat members and derailed criminal investigations will keep working while under investigation.

District Attorney David Learner asked for a State Bureau of Investigation probe into his assistants on Tuesday, a day after The Associated Press reported they provided legal advice for Word of Faith church, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.

Learner's spokesman Nathan Key did not say in his email if Frank Webster and Chris Back will continue to prosecute cases.

Learner is district attorney for Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties. Word of Faith church is in Rutherford County.

Under North Carolina law, prosecutors cannot provide legal advice or be involved in outside cases in any manner.

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2:50 p.m.

A district attorney in North Carolina is asking for a state investigation of two of his assistant prosecutors who are members of a North Carolina church where former congregants say officials beat members and derailed criminal investigations.

In a statement Wednesday, District Attorney David Learner said he asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into his employees. That request was made Tuesday, a day after Learner told reporters he was familiar with The Associated Press story about his prosecutors but couldn't talk because it was a personnel matter.

Former members of Word of Faith church in Spindale told the AP that prosecutors Frank Webster and Chris Back provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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