Lawyers representing a coalition of local media (including Xpress) have filed an affidavit to bolster the case for the release of an audit of the Asheville Police Department evidence room. The lawsuit goes before a judge Sept. 4.
The 30-page affidavit, prepared by local media nonprofit Carolina Public Press, lays out events since the June 25 filing of the lawsuit, including auditor Mike Wright’s presentation to Asheville City Council and Council’s acknowledgement that the city was supposed to have received a redacted copy of the audit from District Attorney Ron Moore, a fact both Xpress and CPP revealed back in April.
“Defendant city of Asheville has a history of furnishing copies of evidence room audits in response to public records requests, with the exception of the report at issue in this case,” the affidavit reads.
It also takes aim at Moore’s stated reason for not releasing the audit: that it would harm an ongoing criminal investigation.
“Wright gave no indication that the audit report discusses or addresses any alleged crimes that may have occurred in connection with the APD evidence room, nor did he indicate that the report identifies or discuses any persons accused of criminal activity,” it notes. “Wright’s presentation suggests that the report contains an inventory of approximately 75% of evidence room and a series of recommendations.”