Our lawsuit against the North Carolina Attorney General (AG) and the NC Department of Justice (NCDOJ) is moving forward. It was originally filed in October 2016, and the New Hanover County School System joined the lawsuit in January 2017. The lawsuit is over the diversion of funds from public education into the coffers of private environmental groups.
It is based on the North Carolina constitution and a 2005 North Carolina Supreme Court decision that “fines and forfeitures” should go to public education – not private non-profit environmental groups.
The suit originally named Roy Cooper as a defendant, but has been changed to Josh Stein now that he is the AG.
In a hearing on June 27, the judge will possibly rule on two motions. The first motion is from NCDOJ asking for the case to be dismissed. If the judge sides with the NCDOJ, we must appeal to the NC Court of Appeals to continue the case.
If we win the dismissal motion and the judge decides to allow the case to move forward, the judge will then decide on our motion to grant a preliminary injunction against any further spending by the AG and the NCDOJ out of the Smithfield money.
If we are ultimately successful in this suit, we will move a step closer to stopping out-of-control AG’s from shaking down businesses for money to give to their political allies.