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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Paper Says Governor Withholding HB2 Docs

(CN) - A North Carolina weekly newspaper sued Gov. Pat McCrory claiming he repeatedly ignored requests for correspondence related to the passage of a controversial state law that strips the LGBT community of many protections against discrimination.

HB2 was passed during a special session of the state legislature and signed by McCrory after the Charlotte City Council amended the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to prohibit businesses from discriminating against LGBT customers and allowed transgender residents to use either a men's or women's bathroom, depending on the gender with which they identified.

HB2 pre-empted the Charlotte ordinance and prohibited other North Carolina communities from expanding protections for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender residents.

In the wake of the law's abrupt passage, INDY Week reporter Paul Blest filed a public records request, asking for correspondence related to the drafting and passage of the bill.

Over the ensuing months, according to a complaint the newspaper filed in the Wake County Superior Court on Oct. 18, Blest requested additional documents related to different aspects of the bill and the controversy it inspired.

In the wake of the HB2's passage, a series of lawsuits were filed against the state and several sports teams, leagues and entertainers pulled events scheduled to be held in North Carolina.

"At the time of this filing, it has been 204 days since INDY Week's initial request for public records and 70 days since its most recent request and no public records have been produced by Governor McCrory responsive to any of the requests described above."

The newspaper says its seven public records requests are now "languishing" on the governor's desk, and failure to respond "constitutes a deliberate, conscious and intransigent refusal by Governor McCrory to carry out the mandatory, non-discretionary and prescribed duties of his office."

The newspaper asks the court to order McCrory to appear at a hearing and present any evidence he has that proves the documents are not public records.

Should the governor fail to do so, the newspaper asks the judge to order the immediate release of the requested records.

The newspaper is represented by Michael Tadych of Stevens, Martin, Vaughn & Tadych, PLLC in Raleigh, N.C.A representative of the governor's office did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

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