Fired By Liars: Due Process Implications in the Recent Changes to North Carolina’s Public Disclosure Laws

BY Morgan Eugene Stewart

In July of 2010, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Government Ethics and Campaign Reform Act of 2010.  Among its various changes to existing ethics and open records laws, the Act for the first time opened records of disciplinary action against public employees to public scrutiny.  While the General Assembly’s effort to increase transparency among public employees is commendable, some unintended consequences are likely to result from the relaxation of North Carolina’s previously strict public disclosure laws.  The new laws affect all state, county, and municipal entities, many of which are ill-equipped to provide their employees with the necessary protections to ensure that the disclosure of disciplinary action does not violate those employees’ due process rights.  Further, the changes leave open several questions that will not be answered until they are litigated in the courts, creating an additional burden on already cash-strapped public entities.

 

DOWNLOAD PDF | 89 N.C. L. Rev.2228 (2011)

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