WRAL: McCrory blocks state board’s effort to hire outside lawyers in election dispute

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory’s office has turned down the State Board of Elections’ request to hire lawyers from the Brooks Pierce law firm to defend the state against a federal lawsuit by the Civitas Institute.

McCrory, a Republican, appears to have narrowly lost his re-election bid to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. Normally, Cooper’s office would defend the state in such cases. However, given the interest by both McCrory and Cooper, the state board decided Sunday to seek outside help.

While Thomas Ziko, a long-time litigator in independent practice, did get approved, a trio of lawyers who work for Brooks Pierce – Charles Marshall, Craig Schauer and Jessica Thaller-Moran – was rejected. Marshall, Schauer and Thaller-Moran, have all either worked for Republican judges before coming to the firm or worked on behalf of GOP causes. (Read more)

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News & Observer: McCrory will withdraw recount demand if Durham votes recounted

The Watch Dog response: I was not going to call in today to listen to the NC State Board of Elections meeting today at 12:30 PM but I think this meeting will be very interesting.

Gov. Pat McCrory is ready to withdraw his request for a statewide recount if a new hand count of Durham County votes produces the same results as Election Day, his campaign announced Saturday evening.

The governor is asking the N.C. State Board of Elections to hold an expedited hearing on an appeal of the Durham County election board’s denial of a request for a recount there. The state board on Saturday called for a Sunday afternoon meeting by phone to discuss this matter and a federal lawsuit challenging same-day registration ballots.

“If a Durham recount provides the same results as earlier posted, the McCrory Committee will be prepared to withdraw its statewide recount request in the Governors race,” the campaign’s news release says. (Read more)

North Carolina A.G. Faces Racial Tensions Over Police Trial Before Run for Governor – National Journal

The Political Agitator’s response: I am struggling with this verdict and then my Attorney General seeing no need to try the case again. This is just sad!

North Car­o­lina At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Roy Cooper is plan­ning on run­ning for gov­ernor next year. That makes the Demo­crat one of the first at­tor­neys gen­er­al in the post-Fer­guson era to run for high­er of­fice after tangling with an emo­tion­al tri­al in­volving an un­armed black man killed by a white po­lice of­ficer.

Cooper’s of­fice re­cently over­saw the case against Ran­dall “Wes” Ker­rick, a Char­lotte po­lice of­ficer who shot an un­armed black man, Jonath­an Fer­rell, 10 times in 2013 after Fer­rell was in a late-night car ac­ci­dent and ap­proached a nearby house. The case ended in a mis­tri­al after the 12-mem­ber jury couldn’t re­turn a un­an­im­ous ver­dict, and Cooper said last month that he didn’t plan to try Ker­rick again giv­en the lack of new evid­ence. (Source: Read more)

See What Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II NC NAACP State President Had To Say In Response To AG: No retrial of Charlotte officer in fatal shooting

The Political Agitator’s response: I must agree with the response from my State NAACP President during the Rocky Mount NAACP Image Awards. Maybe the AG has justification for his response other than he is running for Governor and trying to appease some folk. But what Dr. Barber said makes sense to me. See it for yourself and please comment. Watch the response: Video/Photos: Rocky Mount NAACP 3rd Annual Image Awards Featured Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II NC State President/National Board Member

Charlotte, N.C. — The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office will not retry a white Charlotte police officer whose voluntary manslaughter trial in the death of a black man ended with a hung jury last week, officials said Friday.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert Montgomery said in a letter to Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray that charges against Officer Randall Kerrick would be dismissed. The Attorney General’s Office handled the prosecution to avoid any conflict of interest for Mecklenburg County prosecutors. (Source: Read more)

GOP requests 14 years of records from Attorney General Roy Cooper – News Observer

Raleigh – After N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke publicly Monday about keeping government officials accountable, the N.C. Republican Party is testing him by asking for thousands of records dating back to when Cooper took office in 2001.

In five detailed requests, one for each day of “Sunshine Week,” the party asked for every email and correspondence Cooper and his senior staff sent or received in the past 14 years. It also asked for every Twitter and Facebook message, official appointment, expense report, official opinion and internal memo from the attorney general’s office since 2001.

In addition, the N.C. GOP requested specifics about the operations of the N.C. Department of Justice, the State Bureau of Investigation and the State Crime Lab during the past 14 years. (Source: Read more)

Photos/Video: Attorney General Roy Cooper Addresses Rocky Mount Chamber 111th Annual Meeting Thursday January 22, 2015

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Troubled SBI agent Duane Deaver fired

The State Bureau of Investigation has fired agent Duane Deaver, a veteran analyst and agent whose work came under fire in several high profile cases and an independent audit of the state’s crime lab.

Deaver was terminated Friday, according to an email from Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper. (Read more)