We tried shaming, cajoling, pleading, asking nicely, and it still took more than a year for Gov. Pat McCrory's office to provide his travel records
, and even then they were redacted
without explanation. There have been other incidents with state agencies as well, and now we're suing.
File Stamped Complaint 15 CV 9591
has joined a coalition of other media outlets and nonprofits in suing Gov. Pat McCrory and the heads of several state agencies, alleging that they have violated the state's open records laws:
- John Skvarla, secretary of the Department of Commerce,
- Donald Van der Vaart, secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources,
- Aldona Wos, Health and Human Services secretary,
- Frank Perry, secretary of the Department of Public Safety,
- William Daughtridge Jr, secretary of the Department of Administration
- Anthony Tata, transportation secretary
- Susan Kluttz, secretary of the cultural resources department
- and Lyons Gray, secretary of the Department of Revenue
As laid out in the suit, which was filed by attorneys Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych in Wake County Superior Court this afternoon, we are asking the state to comply with open records laws (for those of you playing along at home, that's General Statute 132-1 through 132-10).
The suit states:
"Compliance with the Public Records Law on the part of the defendants and other public officials is critical to the plaintiffs' work. When the defendants fail or refuse to respond to public records requests or to provide requested public records as promptly as possible, the news media companies are thwarted in their attempts to provide their readers and viewers with accurate, timely and thorough information about the defendants' decisions, actions and policies."
Besides the INDY
, the plaintiffs are The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer
, Capitol Broadcasting, WNCN, Southern Environmental Law Center, The Alamance News
and the North Carolina Justice Center.