Thursday, October 17, 2019
Outer Banks

State ACLU and Dare resident sue Rep. Boswell

Exercising his FOIA rights, Kitty Hawk’s Craig Merrill has repeatedly asked Rep. Boswell to provide her public phone and email communications. And Boswell has repeatedly failed to comply. Now she’s being sued.

In conjunction with Kitty Hawk resident Craig Merrill, the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-NC) filed a lawsuit on Thursday, seeking the release of public records from NC Representative Beverly Boswell (District 6).

Merrill, who frequently writes for Beacon, started asking Boswell for records of her phone calls and email correspondence last March. Specifically, he wants to see communications between her office and the residents and businesses she represents in Dare County and parts of Beaufort, Hyde, and Washington counties.

Despite the North Carolina Public Records Law requiring compliance with requests like Merrill’s, Boswell’s office has not released the communications.

“As an elected official, Rep. Boswell has a responsibility to her constituents, to the people of North Carolina, and to the law, to be transparent and release public records upon request,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation. “Transparency is crucial to our democracy. North Carolinians have a right to know what actions their elected officials are taking and why. Members of the General Assembly cannot ignore the law and their constituents.”

The lawsuit, filed in Wake County Superior Court, asks the court to order Rep. Boswell to preserve and release the records requested by Merrill.

“All I’ve ever asked for is public information about the work of my elected official,” Merrill said. “This is about more than just me—it’s about the rights of all North Carolinians to be informed and have transparency from their government.”

Related stories: Boswell, Moore deny Dare man’s FOIA request; also, ACLU takes on Dare man’s FOIA pursuit of Boswell records


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It should not be this difficult to expose a corrupt official.

Richard Patterson

I think those records would be to voluminous to prepare! I also think that the commununication he is looking for would not be in what he requests!

Diane Yanacek

She has made herself unavailable via social media as well, blocking constituents who attempt to weigh in on issues before the GA. I will be working very hard for her opponent next election.

Neill Meehan

Thank you for taking this crucial step in standing up for our rights as citizens.