If Gov. McCrory stands for transparency, he should allow ethics inquiry to be public

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If Gov. McCrory truly believes in open government and claims he has done nothing wrong, then he should waive confidentiality in State Ethics Commission complaint over his glaring, repeated omissions on his official ethics forms.

It has been 50 days since Progress NC Action filed a formal ethics complaint outlining Gov. Pat McCrory’s disturbing pattern of omitting key financial information and other conflicts of interest from his state ethics forms. State law requires the Ethics Commission’s inquiry to be confidential, unless the subject of a complaint asks for it to be made public. 

“As the subject of this complaint, only Gov. McCrory has the power to turn back the curtain of secrecy and make the Ethics Commission’s inquiry public,” said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress NC Action. “The governor has continued to deny any wrongdoing, even going so far as to dispute facts which are supported by public record. If Gov. McCrory truly has nothing to hide, and if he truly stands for government transparency, then he should make this inquiry public in order to clear his name.” 

During Gov. McCrory’s campaign for office, he promised voters that his administration would be the most transparent in state history. Decrying the ethics scandals which surrounded his predecessors, McCrory confidently proclaimed a new era of openness in state government. But since the governor took office, public information has become even more difficult to access. Even basic Freedom of Information Act requests now carry hefty fees levied by McCrory’s administration. 

“It’s time for Gov. McCrory to live up to his campaign promises and stand up for transparency,” said Brenner. “If the governor has truly done nothing wrong, then he should welcome a public inquiry to clear up these serious allegations.” 

The full 50-page ethics complaint can be read here. The exhibits which support the allegations contained in the complaint can be viewed here.

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