In what has become another ‘unpopular’ plan of action by Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, the new target is the Attorney General of this state, Roy Cooper. In an unprecedented move, the governor and the GOP are attempting to overthrow the Attorney General’s authority of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and turn it over to the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Republican leaders see it as a ‘cost-cutting plan’ while others have deemed it to be another Republican Power Grab.
Attorney General Cooper, a Democrat, held a press conference on Monday with law enforcement supporters from across the state Monday, including chiefs of police, sheriffs, and district attorneys who literally stood behind him at a news conference.
Cooper pointed to the many political corruption cases handled by the SBI in recent years. The majority of the public officials investigated during that time were – like Cooper – Democrats. But they were investigated at a time when Democrats held the governorship.
Cooper said putting the SBI under the Department of Public Safety – with a secretary appointed by the governor – could hinder future corruption investigations of the party in charge.
“The SBI has provided a check on power. And no matter who controls the state legislature, the governor’s office or the attorney general’s office, this system works best. Putting the SBI under any governor’s administration increases the risk that corruption and cover-up occur with impunity,” said Cooper.
One of the district attorneys at the news conference – Jim O’Neill, an elected Republican from Winston-Salem – said he didn’t see the move as a political power grab – just an attempt to save money. But, he said he still didn’t agree with the move.
He believes the SBI should remain under the AG’s office and that the legislature should instead better fund the SBI lab to eliminate long delays on evidence analysis.
So why is the Governor and the Republican party in North Carolina so hell-bent on “taking over” this part of the crime division? It’s obvious, isn’t it? It’s called, “ACCOUNTABILITY”! If they “Own” this division, they call the shots with NO Accountability. Just as they’ve taken control of the House, the Senate and have a Republican Governor, oversight of the Crime Division of North Carolina makes them this state’s version of “The Untouchables”.
Keep up the Fight Attorney General Cooper…Please!