Media coalition sues McCrory over 'regular and repeated' violations of public records law
If you've filed a public records request with Governor McCrory's administration, you likely haven't heard back or were given an enormous fee to complete the request. Now a coalition of media organizations have filed a lawsuit against the McCrory administration over 'regular and repeated' violations of public records law.
A coalition of media and public policy groups filed a lawsuit against Gov. Pat McCrory's administration Tuesday over access to public records.
The group includes Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent company of WRAL News, and other media companies, as well as the Southern Environmental Law Center and the North Carolina Justice Center. All make regular use of public records in their work.
McCrory's office slammed the suit Tuesday evening, calling it a frivolous action by "liberal media" and advocacy groups that will tie up state resources.
In the suit, filed in Wake County Superior Court against McCrory and the appointed heads of the state's executive agencies, members of the coalition allege the administration "regularly and repeatedly" violated the state's public records law since McCrory took office in 2013. That includes delaying the release of records and providing "false or unreasonable estimates" of fees and charges for producing them.
North Carolina's open records law requires government entities from the state to the local level to release any document requested by the public "as promptly as possible," unless a specific exemption exists in the law.
The administration's actions, the lawsuit alleges, "are the consequence of concerted policies and practices adopted and followed by the defendants for the purposes of avoiding or circumventing the public records law and discouraging or intimidating public records requestors."