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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Pat McCrory says Attorney General Roy Cooper could wind up a witness against the state of North Carolina in a lawsuit the US Department of Justice filed against the state’s new voter ID law.

“Political statements by an attorney general or by any lawyer can have a detriment(al) impact on their ability to defend our state,” McCrory said.

During a visit to Cape Fear Community College, McCrory, a Republican, was asked if he agrees with the opinion of one of his legal advisers that Cooper, a Democrat, compromised his ability to represent the state in the lawsuit. McCrory said he agreed with the assessment of counsel Bob Stephens.

“The dilemma we have is the attorney general, even after the bill was signed and even after two lawsuits were submitted against the state, the attorney general continued to send out political mailings and make public comments very strongly against the laws that the North Carolina legislature (passed) and then I signed and that now the Attorney General of the United States is challenging us on,” McCrory said. “And so it is very important that I have someone fighting for us who agrees with voter ID.”

McCrory has retained at taxpayers’ expense a South Carolina lawyer with close ties to the Republican Party who bills $360 an hour.

“His comments are even in the docket, which was presented to the state of North Carolina from Attorney General (Eric) Holder,” McCrory said. “So our own attorney general is quoted in the lawsuit against the state of North Carolina. That puts us at a disadvantage.”

Cooper has said it is his duty as both an elected official and legal professional to vigorously defend the state in court, even if he personally disagrees with arguments made by his office.

“Our office has successfully defended laws that the Attorney General doesn’t agree with before,” NCDOJ spokeswoman Noelle Talley told WWAY in an e-mail Friday. “We don’t think this is the time to be wasting taxpayers’ money on unnecessary outside lawyers. This office will continue to do its duty under the law to defend the state in court.”

Comment on this Story

  • Guest2020

    More like shame on Roy Cooper. We sure do need laws in North Carolina to allow for recall elections. If he isn’t capable of doing his job properly, then he should go.

  • legal american

    Obama and his buddy Eric Holden need to keep their noses out of North Carolina. they keep stirring the pot up, some might get on them

  • Guest9742

    At $360.00 an hour this guy is going to milk NC taxpayers for every dime he can get, McCrory should be ashamed but no one should be surprised at what he is doing and believe me this is just the tip of the iceberg…”you ain’t seen nothing yet.” He could have gotten Tommie Goolsby for a lot less!!

  • Guest1945

    In most contests or races (political office, beauty pageant, etc.) the goal is to select the most appropriate person. Whether they are the smartest, the prettiest, or just the best fit for the position; that is typically the goal. Well, my fellow southeast NC citizens (who voted) we have failed ourselves, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens of this great state. Not only have we selected the dumbest, we have selected those who find it appropriate to discriminate against the very people they represent; in the interest of politics. It’s a disgrace to live in a State where our governor and local representation worked so hard to remove one of our most protected constitutional rights – the right to vote. Personally, I feel that Roy Cooper has done an outstanding job as Attorney General and is capable of defending this law regardless of his personal beliefs. However, he isn’t the mold of most politicians and has come forward with his concerns of this discriminatory law. For that, I say Thank You Mr. Attorney General. Governor Pat McCrory, and sponsors Representative Rick Catlin, and Representative Ted Davis should be ashamed of their actions. It’s vividly obvious they are not equally representing those of us who put our trust in their ability to serve. So many people get worked up over such instances but not all of us feel it’s important to vote. I hope that changes. I hope everyone takes note and makes their voices heard on election day… for the protection of our constitutional rights, the future of North Carolina, and the future of our nation.

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