From AP: North Carolina's Democratic attorney general is opposing a state Senate budget provision that moves much of an investigative unit from his department to one headed by an appointee of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
Roy Cooper spoke against the idea Monday, alongside police chiefs and prosecutors who also oppose moving the State Bureau of Investigation to the Department of Public Safety, which includes all other law enforcement agencies. Opponents argued the move will inhibits the agency's independence from the executive branch, but they stopped short of calling it politically motivated.
Housing the agency under a department controlled by the governor runs counter to the SBI's mission, he added. "Putting the SBI under any governor's administration increases the risk that corruption and cover-up occur with impunity," Cooper said.
But Republican senators argued the unit is better grouped with the rest of the state's law enforcement divisions to enhance coordination among the agencies. The Republican budget estimates $2 million in savings from the consolidation in its second year. "It simply does not make sense for the state's top attorney to supervise the SBI, just like it wouldn't make sense for your local district attorney to supervise your sheriffs or police," said House Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow and one of the chamber's chief budget-writers. More here.