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I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Carolina Stompers Speak with the NC Attorney General's Office

The Carolina Stompers ask for an investigation into the Buncombe County Commissioners going into a "closed meeting" to decide to do away with opening prayer before a County Commissioners meeting. We feel the Buncombe Commissioners violated NC Statutes under the closed meeting laws.

Source: Carolina Stompers (go to the website to see the video)

It's good to see the Carolina Stompers on the job...

**5.23pm**

I should have checked my email. I found this Press release from the Carolina Stompers in my inbox:

For Immediate Press Release
01/06/10
Asheville NC - The Carolina Stompers recently sent a letter to the NC Attorney Generals Office in regards
to a closed door meeting the Buncombe County Commissioners had about removing prayer from the beginning of each county commissioners meeting. Attached is the letter.
We feel that this meeting was in violation of NC general Statute 143-318.11 Closed sessions.
It states that -
"General policy matters may not be discussed in a closed session and nothing herein shall be construed to permit a public body to close a meeting that otherwise would be open merely because an attorney employed or retained by the public body is a participant."
The issue surfaced after commissioners talked in closed session Dec. 1 about a lawsuit challenging similar prayers at Forsyth County commissioner meetings. County Attorney Michael Frue said at the time that commissioners had decided to switch to a moment of silence, but commissioners Chairman David Gantt said no decision had been made. The Carolina Stompers want to know the truth and why, (in the closed meeting), did the county commissioners order county attorney Michael Frue to issue a letter to local municipalities of the County Commissioners decision to do away with prayer.
We further more feel that commissioners "polling a consensus" of each other to be it by phone, e-mail, or meeting is a violation.
This should be done in a public, open, and transparent regular county commissioners meeting.
Since writing our letter, we have spoken with Mrs. Susan Nichols of the NC Attorney Generals Office. She told us that the Attorney Generals Office does not investigate Public Integrity issues and referred us to either take elected officials to court ourselves or contact the School of Government at Chapel Hill NC. But according to the NC Attorney Generals website -
"Public Integrity"
"Government employees and elected officials have a responsibility to respect the law, act ethically and conduct their work in a transparent manner.
Attorney General Cooper and the Department of Justice help you know what your rights and responsibilities are under the law and actively investigate and prosecute officials who violate the publics trust.

North Carolinas Public Records and Open Meetings laws provide the foundation for knowing what government officials and entities do. North Carolinians are generally entitled to see any
public record. Public bodies must generally conduct business in public."

The website link can be found at
http://www.ncdoj.com/Top-Issues/Public-Integrity.aspx

Here is a video of the conversation we had with Mrs. Nichols - www.carolinastompers.com

The Carolina Stompers feel that the NC Attorney Generals Office needs to decide if they are going to hold elected officials accountable to the citizens of NC. We feel they should investigate all "Public Integrity" issues as per what their website says and prosecute if needed.

The Carolina Stompers will continue to ask the NC Attorney Generals Office to investigate and are looking at other legal options to get the truth.

For further information go to www.carolinastompers.com

or we can be reached at 828-216-8107


Here is a video I made last year paying tribute to them:




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