Part of Judge Bradley Letts’ written order dismissing the evidence room open records lawsuit filed by a local media coalition (including Xpress) has been filed. The order dismisses the part of the lawsuit against the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office on the technical grounds that it was misnamed in the lawsuit.
More than two months ago, Xpress requested a copy of the audit of the Asheville Police Department’s evidence room from District Attorney Ron Moore. We have received no reply. According to attorneys from the North Carolina Press Association, the audit should be public record, and Moore’s behavior violates the state’s open records law.
The audit of the Asheville Police Department evidence room was completed Jan. 9, but don’t expect the details to go public soon. While Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore has told some media that the audit showed that around 200 drug parcels might be missing, the Buncombe County District Attorney’s keeping the results secret, even from city government.
Xpress has received several e-mails forwarded by hacker and writer Barrett Brown, purportedly from a local resident alleging Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore’s connection with drug trafficking, a claim Brown has also made. Xpress is investigating the e-mails, which appear to be from a local resident or someone familiar with the area, based on their content.