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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A lawmaker’s effort to make it a criminal misdemeanor for an official to violate North Carolina’s public records and open meetings laws faces an uphill climb in the state Senate after committee members and local government lobbyists objected.

Bill sponsor Sen. Thom Goolsby of Wilmington told a judiciary panel Tuesday he filed the bill in response to a local Alcoholic Beverage Control board meeting and there was no way to punish those who closed the meeting unlawfully. Current law directs people to sue government officials in civil court.

Senators questioned whether the proposal would unintentionally punish elected officials following their lawyers’ advice. Paul Meyer with the North Carolina League of Municipalities said the bill would slow down the release of records.

The North Carolina Press Association supports the bill.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    The Senate objected? Go figure.
    I was hoping it would become a felony.
    The Senate doesn’t want it to become law.


  • Guest11111

    This would cause unnecessary expense and yet another layer of legal baloney. A lawyer would come up with the idea of criminalizing a government function or lack of function. If people would not vote for fools and idiots; simply because they have been sold a bill of goods-most often, these days, by Republicans and their tea bagging buddies. In my opinion a good public servant should be hired or voted into an office because they are intelligent, competent, thoughtful, independent, critical thinkers. I have no problem with those supporting Republican, Independent or Democrat parties, ideas and groups; we need them all to encourage the free exchange of ideas and I believe all political parties and ideas should be welcomed, it’s the American way. The current bullying and hatefulness we see and hear in the State(s) and in the Federal Government, among elected members, is not how (I think) Americans should behave. I often wonder why many adults (in high positions) do not see that they are powerful role models for our children. Bullying in schools by children did not form in a vacuum; it evolves through modeling the bullying behavior of adults-Officials in schools, governments, everywhere. American Bully behavior is considered “Alpha”, “top dog”, “go-getter” and it is revered in the USA.

  • B M

    Good for you Tom, any meeting taking place between any taxpayer payed positions, county, state or fed, should be open meetings, when the government closes the doors for a private meeting the public is going to get the shaft!

  • Guest CommonTater

    “If people would not vote for fools and idiots”

    This doesn’t occur naturally…. I mean look who we have for a president…. again!

    Well no government business should be kept secret from those government is intended to represent. That’s how the fools and idiots get away with the things they do. But the big picture is that Washington is dysfunctional. It is what we get when we vote for “fools and idiots” on that much we agree.


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