Monday, February 25, 2013

Bill would make withholding public records a crime

This is long overdue. North Carolina public records law is flouted without consequences in Greensboro and the people's representatives, our city council, are apathetic. It's time citizens have an avenue other than law suits and indifferent representatives to rectify unlawful secrecy.
"Officials who refuse to release public records or shut North Carolina residents out of open meetings could face criminal penalties under a bill filed Thursday.

"Senate Bill 125 would make violations of the state public records and open meetings laws a Class 3 misdemeanor. State Sen. Buck Newton, a Wilson Republican, is co-sponsor of the bill introduced by Sens. Thom Goolsby and Tom Tom Apodaca."
The Wilson Times
[Hyperlinks added to quotation.]


Billy Jones said...

They should make it a felony but I guess we take what we can get.

Lex Alexander said...

Repeat offenses certainly should be felonies.

I will say this, though: A lot of line workers in local government JUST DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER. Their bosses like it that way, but that's not the workers' fault. Let's not focus on the Lynndie Englands, so to speak, while letting the Bushes and Rumsfelds go free.

Roch Smith, Jr said...

I see what you are getting at, Lex, and it's a fair point, but I don't think the bosses would stay bosses for very long if their staff kept getting charged with withholding records.

Lex Alexander said...

@Roch: I used to think that, too, but then Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo et al. didn't end up in The Hague and none of the investment bank CEOs ended up doing time for fraud, conspiracy and lying to Congress and so forth, so I figure if it's OK for the CEO, it's OK for everybody else.

All right, that's not ACTUALLY how I feel, but I do fail to see the point of prosecuting a Lynndie England if you're not ALSO going to prosecute her CO and on up the line to wherever the order originated.


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