Elon University Home

Sunshine center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition

We are the Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. If you are a records or meetings holder or someone seeking access to records or meetings, we hope this site will be a useful resource. Check out our educational resources about open government.

The North Carolina Open Government Coalition unites organizations interested in ensuring and enhancing the public's access to government activity, records and meetings. The nonpartisan coalition will educate people about their rights and support their efforts to gain access, and advocate the principles and benefits of open government. Education is critically important these days because, according to Elon Poll results, a majority of North Carolina residents are unaware of sunshine laws.

News

Cellphone surveillance records released in Mecklenburg 

Media outlets asked Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Richard Boney to unseal court orders authorizing the surveillance after the existence of the secret program was revealed by the Charlotte Observer in October. The District Attorney's office must now review hundreds of cases to determine if information was improperly kept from defendants in cases dating back to 2010. 

Wilmington charter school relents, turns financial data over to state

Under threat of sanction from the State Board of Education, Charter Day School, Inc. finally released salary information to the Department of Public Instruction. Despite Charter Day stamping the information a "trade secret," DPI said it will release the data to the public Monday evening. 

Key figure in UNC Chapel Hill public records disputes leaving university

UNC Chapel Hill Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Leslie Strohm has accepted a similar position at the University of Louisville. Strohm has been the university's top attorney through several public records lawsuits. 

Gov. Pat McCrory says "personnel laws ... need to be changed to allow more transparency"

Toward the end of a wide-ranging interview with WFAE public radio in Charlotte, Gov. Pat McCrory said that the state's personnel laws need to be changed to allow more transparency.  McCrory's statement was in response to a question about the resignation of Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison. 

Avery County court records sealed in investigation of high school Halloween party rape allegation

The Sylva Herald: The SBI is investigating allegations of rape and underage drinking related to a high school Halloween party. The party was held at the business of a contractor with the sheriff's office, and was attended by a deputy and a county dispatcher. Superior Court Judge Brad Letts sealed court records related to the investigation for 90 days. 

Environmental groups criticize closed-door meeting on offshore drilling 

Gov. Pat McCrory held an invitation-only meeting Thursday with representatives of state and federal agencies as well as the oil and gas industry to discuss the possibilities of offshore drilling in North Carolina. Several environmental groups requested the meeting be open to the public. McCrory opened the meeting at the end for a question and answer session. 

Charter school group that refuses to release salary information may face state sanctions

The State Board of Education is threatening sanctions against Charter Day School, Inc., of Wilmington, in an ongoing dispute over disclosure of salaries of employees contracted through a for-profit company. Charter Day School has refused to disclose them to the state unless a promise of confidentiality is made and it has not provided the information when requested under the N.C. Public Records Law. 

Charlotte media sue for access to secret court records on police cellphone tracking 

The Charlotte Observer and WBTV on Friday filed a motion in Mecklenberg County Superior Court seeking access to court files related to Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department's use of StingRay technology, which mimics cellphone towers and allows police to track cellphone use. The court files have remained sealed at the police's request, and the records go back to 2006. 

Twitter