ron moore Articles
Today, an array of local media has united in a call for District Attorney Ron Moore to release the audit of missing guns, drugs and money from the Asheville Police Department evidence room. A joint statement declares that Moore's actions in ignoring open records requests for months "are not in compliance with either state law or the practices of transparent government."
According to the contract for the audit of missing guns, drugs, and money from the Asheville Police Department's evidence room, the city of Asheville should have received a copy when the audit was completed in January. The city still hasn't received a copy, and District Attorney Ron Moore has refused to respond to open records requests for the public release of the $175,000 audit. City manager Gary Jackson says he's satisfied with Moore's handling of the case, and is not pressing for the release of the audit.
More than two months ago, Xpress requested a copy of the audit of the Asheville Police Department's evidence room from District Attorney Ron Moore. We have received no reply. According to attorneys from the North Carolina Press Association, the audit should be public record, and Moore's behavior violates the state's open records law.
The audit of the Asheville Police Department evidence room was completed Jan. 9, but don't expect the details to go public soon. While Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore has told some media that the audit showed that around 200 drug parcels might be missing, the Buncombe County District Attorney's keeping the results secret, even from city government.
Xpress has received several e-mails forwarded by hacker and writer Barrett Brown, purportedly from a local resident alleging Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore's connection with drug trafficking, a claim Brown has also made. Xpress is investigating the e-mails, which appear to be from a local resident or someone familiar with the area, based on their content.
In a faxed statement to WLOS, Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore has called claims made by hacker and author Barrett Brown about Moore's ties to drug cartels untrue and that "it is the height of negligent and irresponsible journalism to promote this untrue and unverified gossip." Meanwhile, Brown has clarified his accusations, asserting Moore is tied to an American gang, not Mexican cartels.
On April 18, Asheville Police Department Chief Bill Hogan has announced his retirement, effective May 13. The step comes amid public criticism over his handling of an investigation into missing evidence and the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit involving a still-employed APD officer.
It was a tense scene last night during the Asheville City Council meeting as District Attorney Ron Moore criticized the leadership of the Asheville Police Department for the handling of its evidence room. APD Chief Bill Hogan, meanwhile, said the problems were due to one individual who "betrayed the trust." Council approved $175,000 to conduct a full audit.
A partial audit of the Asheville Police Department evidence room, completed last Friday and released by the District Attorney's Office, reveals 115 missing items, including guns, drugs and money. The State Bureau of Investigation has sealed the evidence room, and are pursuing an investigation and full audit.
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