Attorney General Roy Cooper says information about the pensions of state employees should be made available to the public after all.
Cooper's office this afternoon released a letter it sent to state Sens. Tony Rand and David Hoyle about questions that have surfaced in the past week over public access to government pension information.
The questions started after the State Treasurer's Office, which oversees the state retirement system, said it could not release information on the pension of state Rep. Thomas Wright, a Wilmington Democrat who is facing criminal fraud charges, becauses of a recent change in state law. The office cited an opinion by the Attorney General's office saying the information should not be released.
But lawmakers who worked on the bill, which dealt primarily with a different public records issue, said they never intended to close access to such information. So Rand and Hoyle asked Cooper to take another look at the issue.
He did, and concluded that, "Such information, upon request, should be made available for inspection and copying."
Cooper, in a separate statement, said, "North Carolina has some of the strongest public records laws in the nation, and the interpretation of those laws should favor openness.”