A few days ago I admit I tried only for a few minutes to find more information about the eye-popping $111,000 fine apparently levied in a North Carolina case involving lobbyist disclosure. Thanks to The Charlotte Observer, I now know more about why I couldn’t find any information online.
State law says the public has no right to know anything about violations of N.C. lobbying rules.
That blanket of secrecy, which can be lifted only by court order, was apparently created by mistake when lawmakers sought to tweak the state’s ethics laws in 2008. The issue surfaced this week when a former lobbyist appealed a $111,000 fine. The only information publicly available about the fine against Don Beason came in a court filing from his lawyer.