Friday, November 13, 2015

King of Spades Unhappy With His Own Jokers

Republican leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly chose the current members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors (BOG) -- picked every last one of them -- and now the King of the General Assembly, Phil Berger, is demanding their secrets in a public records request.

Secrets? Yes, indeedy. At their October 30 meeting, the BOG raised the salaries substantially of 12 university chancellors, and did it in a closed meeting, which appears to violate the open meetings law.

According to the News&Observer, Andrew Tripp, general counsel to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, wrote to UNC attorney Tom Shanahan on the same day as the BOG meeting (on behalf of both Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore) demanding all paper and/or audio evidence: “This request includes but is not limited to i) the audio recording made of both the open and closed portions of today’s meeting and ii) any agendas and minutes produced pursuant to G.S. 143-318.10, including draft and final versions, for both the open and closed portions of today’s meeting.”

Well, you appointed 'em, so I guess you can order 'em around like the flunkies they are.

BOG "leaders" (and it's unclear who that includes), along with lawyer Shanahan, have also been ordered to appear before the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, which Berger and Moore jointly chair, next week -- presumably for a dressing down. From the N&O report, it sounds as though the BOG's violation of the open meetings law will be a major topic -- not so much that the press and the public were shut out but that Berger and Moore were kept in the dark.

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