Photo by Max Cooper.
The lawsuit filed by five local media outlets, including Xpress, to obtain the Asheville Police Department evidence room audit will go before Judge Bradley B. Letts on Sept. 4 in Buncombe County Superior Court.
The lawsuit targets the city of Asheville and Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore for their failure to release the audit following multiple open records requests from different outlets. It asserts that the audit is a matter of public record, and should be released.
“As a result of Defendants’ violation of the Public Records Act, Plaintiffs’ and the public’s understanding of the people’s business has been and is being impaired,” the suit declares. “The information sought by Plaintiffs is essential to the maintaining of the public’s understanding of and confidence in the work of law enforcement officials supervised by Defendants.”
While neither the DA or city government has released the audit, a July 24 presentation by Mike Wright to Asheville City Council revealed a state of deep disarray. At that meeting, Council requested that Moore turn over the portion of the audit containing Wright’s recommendations for improving the evidence room.
The lawsuit seeks an immediate release of the audit, and the alliance of local media is represented by Raleigh law firm Brooks Pierce.