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Carolina Public Press: Asheville & Charlotte records officers dispute special charges claim of governor's office

Carolina Public Press: In response to Attorney General Roy Cooper's letter criticising the public records policy of the governor's office requiring special charges for records requests that take more than 30 minutes to fill, the governor's general counsel, Bob Stephens cited Asheville and Charlotte as examples of local governments that also have special surcharge policies. The Carolina Public Press caught up with municipal workers who handle public records in those places and said that charges are rarely, if ever, assessed. 

In January, Attorney General Roy Cooper sent a letter to the office of Governor Pat McCrory indicating that charging a special service charge for records requests that take more than 30 minutes to fulfill is a violation of the intent of the North Carolina Open Records Law. McCrory's top attorney, General Counsel Bob Stephens, fired a letter back saying the practice was commonplace in other parts of the country and that even some North Carolina government entities had similar policies. He cited Charlotte and Asheville as examples of local governments with special surcharge policies. 

The CPP spoke to staffers in both cities who handle public records requests and found out that both cities rarely charge and if they do it's typically only for the cost of copying. 

Read the Carolina Public Press article and both of the attorneys letters here

Jonathan Jones,
Staff
2/14/2014 1:55 PM