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Excusing Board Members from Voting on the Budget

June 19, 2017

North Carolina city and county governing board members have a duty to vote. The general voting statutes, G.S. 153A-44 (counties) and G.S. 160A-75 (cities), allow members to be excused from voting on matters involving their “own financial interest.” What if … Continued

New Rules for Online Access to Databases and Other Records

May 15, 2017

The North Carolina public records law provides a broad right of access to inspect and obtain a copy of public records. Increasingly, public agencies make records available on their websites. For example, many cities and counties post downloadable files of … Continued

Open Meetings Book: New Edition Now Available

March 10, 2017

Can the board of county commissioners meet in closed session to discuss the performance of the elected sheriff or register of deeds? The open meetings law allows a public body to meet in closed session to talk about employees. But … Continued

Post-Election Questions? Blog Posts Have Answers

November 28, 2016

Now that the votes are in, let the questions begin! When do new county commissioners get sworn in and who can administer the oaths of office? What are the requirements for the organizational meeting? What powers do the “lame duck” … Continued

Answers to Questions About North Carolina’s Body-Worn Camera Law

July 20, 2016

On July 11, 2016, Governor McCrory approved new legislation that creates rules for access to law enforcement recordings, including body-worn camera and dashboard camera records. Following a national trend, North Carolina’s law enforcement agencies have adopted these technologies, and the … Continued

The Latest on North Carolina Body-Worn Camera Legislation

June 22, 2016

The national debate about body-worn cameras continues as more law enforcement agencies adopt this powerful tool. As I’ve noted in a previous blog post here, this issue involves numerous competing issues, including safety, privacy, fairness, and transparency. Public expectations of … Continued