One her first day as governor, Beverly Perdue pledged to increase government transparency.
"Government must be more accountable to the people," Perdue said in her Jan. 10 inaugural address. "The state's business must be conducted in the sunshine, to inspire confidence, not cynicism."
Perdue appears to largely be living up to that promise. She makes her weekly schedule available and frequently takes questions from reporters, and her administration released travel and other records that disclosed former Gov. Mike Easley's use of private planes and other activities.
And Wednesday, Perdue issued executive orders requiring more transparency in government. She is also expected to soon sign a bill that she backed that would force state mental hospitals to release information about those who die in the facility or within two weeks of being discharged.
But Perdue's administration continues to withhold some key records, such as reports on probationers who committed serious crimes and state employees who had sex with inmates.
"Compared to what it was, [Perdue] has been great," said Don Carrington, vice president of the conservative John Locke Foundation, who said the Easley administration routinely rebuffed his calls and requests for documents. "They return calls and acknowledge requests." (N&O)
On the other hand, employees at the state's psychiatric hospital in Goldsboro could face discipline if they say negative things about its staff or operations.
Cherry Hospital has landed in trouble in the past few years for patient abuse and neglect, with some of problems coming to light because workers spoke publicly. (N&O)