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Julia Olson-Boseman's wife says county chairwoman drained accounts, maxed out cards, cut off communication

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Davi Pimentel / Pexels
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WHQR
The Olson-Boseman family visited Rome in July, 2022.

The wife of New Hanover County Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman says their family vacation to Rome went horribly wrong after she asked about ongoing legal issues.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, Angie Olson-Boseman said she and her wife were looking forward to the vacation as a family: Angie, Julia, and each of their children, both from previous marriages. But Julia Olson-Boseman’s troubles with the NC State Bar had been a sore spot. Julia had been accused of lying about and mismanaging client funds.

“Prior to this I had been asking her about this Bar stuff and she told me to ignore it, that it was a witch hunt, and every time I would ask her as the press got worse she would become angry and tell me I was crazy,” Angie said.

While Angie said she found the response hurtful, prior to the vacation she said she trusted Julia, as her wife of over five years. Then, things changed.

“It’s like a switch and she turned on me,” Angie said.

Mounting legal trouble

The family rift came after months and months of political and legal troubles for Julia. Last summer, she was accused of taking $20,000 from a client and then shuttering her legal practice without providing any services — those allegations led to an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, which is still ongoing. In March, the North Carolina State Bar accused Julia of transferring at least $9,000 of clients' funds to her personal account instead of returning that money. In May, Julia was soundly defeated in the primary and later left the Democratic Party, but remained the chair of the Board of Commissioners.

Related: Julia Olson-Boseman gets a frosty farewell, and an even colder welcome, as she switches parties

Then, while the family was on vacation, WECT broke the news that Julia had missed an important court date and had been found in contempt, meaning possible jail time if she didn’t turn over financial documents. Angie said she again asked her wife about the situation.

“So when the story broke loose about Julia not complying with a court order and possibly having to serve weekends in jail I asked her about it. She became irate and wouldn’t talk to me… she would not tell me anything… she just became angrier,” Angie said.

Things deteriorated and Angie left the place they had been staying in Rome, taking her son with her. That’s when Angie said she discovered Julia had used her credit cards to support Odyssey Party Bus, a business partnership Julia co-organized in April, according to North Carolina Secretary of State records. Julia is an authorizer user on those credit accounts, but Angie said she was not previously aware they had been used for the party bus. Angie said she also got a call from her bank notifying her that Julia had moved a significant amount of money out of their joint banking account.

“I found out she was using my credit card to pay for dinners and that charges she made with my cards for her party bus business, she was leaving me responsible to pay for,” Angie said.

Angie, who has worked for New Hanover County as a social worker for over 20 years, said she had built up ‘great credit,’ and expressed frustration that Julia was “using that to benefit herself and her party bus.”

Then, on Tuesday, things took another turn.

Changed flight plans

The family was initially set to fly back on Saturday, a business-class flight from Rome with several layovers. But when Angie tried to check on their itinerary, she and her son did not appear on the list. Angie said she discovered her American Express card had been used to upgrade seats for Julia and her son to a direct flight to Newark on Friday, a day earlier.

Angie said Julia would not return her messages — and began to worry that she and her son would be stranded in Rome.

“He’s been very scared and so have I about getting back,” Angie said.

With some help from people Angie knew back in the United States, she was able to track down the itinerary for her and her son.

The original flight was still there — but Angie and her child had been downgraded to economy class.

Angie said she was concerned about what else Julia would do, including turning off her phone and changing the locks on their house, which is solely in Angie’s name.

“I want peace, I wanted to get home, and [for] her to be held accountable for her actions,” Angie said.

Julia’s response

Asked about using Angie’s credit cards and changing their travel plans, Julia wrote in a text message, “Any cards I have used have been in my name. Angie suffers from extreme anxiety and depression and seemed to have a mental break while in Italy. My attorney, David Godwin, will be handling any matters related to Angie.”

Julia did not elaborate further on any financial issues and did not address the changing of the family’s flight plans. Contacted at his downtown Wilmington office, Godwin said that he would not make any comment.

Editor’s note: Angela Olson-Boseman spoke with WHQR by text message because of the poor cell phone reception in her location in Italy. WHQR confirmed the phone number was hers, and she provided additional information to confirm the texts were authentic. WHQR also reviewed financial records and flight information supporting Angie’s statements. Additionally, a family friend familiar with the ongoing situation confirmed that the texts were from Angie, along with several other aspects of Angie’s story.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.