The State Employees Association of North Carolina sued in 2008 over a dispute about whether Moore's office had provided public records requested by the group regarding the handling of the state retirement system.
Moore's lawyer argued in Wake Superior Court in June 2008 that the association cannot point to a single specific public record that had been withheld, and Judge James E. Hardin dismissed the suit.
In Tuesday's decision, appeals court Judges Cheri Beasley and Wanda G. Bryant ruled that Hardin was right to dismiss the case, ruling that Moore had fulfilled his obligation under the state's public records law to search his files for documents covered under the request filed by SEANC.
Appeals Court Judge Rick Elmore dissented, writing in a separate opinion that the employees group had shown that Moore had likely withheld records he was legally obligated to provide.
UPDATE: Thomas A. Harris, the chief of staff and general counsel for SEANC, said he will recommend to the group's board that they appeal Tuesday's decision to the N.C. Supreme Court.
"The majority opinion misstates the facts of the case and, as the dissent points out, adds a equirement for maintaining a Public Records Act lawsuit that is not in the law itself," Harris said in an e-mail to Dome.
Moore said: "This news, combined with the other recent news that North Carolina's pension fund was the best performing in the country for this past fiscal year, are nice exclamation points to the end of my 8-year-tenure."
The employees association sought the records after Forbes magazine published an article in 2007 accusing Moore of hiring money managers who gave him campaign contributions.
Moore, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2008, said repeatedly that campaign contributions he received from people involved with investment firms had nothing to do with his decisions hiring those same firms to manage the state's money. Moore turned over hundreds of pages of documents to SEANC and said he had fully complied with the group's public records request.
The association, which represents 55,000 state employees, disagreed and sued Moore in the middle of his heated primary battle against then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue. Moore said the lawsuit was "baseless" and designed to help Perdue's candidacy. Although the employees association did not formally endorse Perdue, it ran a full-page ad publicizing its records dispute with Moore in the two largest newspapers in the state.