|GOP Request for ASU Info Now to State|
|Written by Steve Frank|
|Friday, 14 March 2014 09:34|
Stonewalling—that’s what Watauga Republican Party Chair Anne-Marie Yates calls action from ASU about her request for information about political activity of employees of the university on the job or using state facilities. In a letter to UNC Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hans, Watauga Republican
Party Chair Anne-Marie Yates has requested information about ASU employees and their permission to conduct political activities. The latest request is for emails from ASU employee Stella Anderson “which were sent and/or received on the state email system and which are public records according to the law.” She says in the communication that, “Unfortunately, our experiences with officials at Appalachian State University seems to indicate a desire to withhold information and to delay or stonewall the release of information to which we are entitled.” She also cited prior experiences with ASU “not following UNC procedures.” She cited “the case of Rennie Brantz's failure to obtain required approval from ASU administration prior to running for office,” saying “we were informed that the regulations (for some reason) did not apply to Mr Brantz. Following Brantz's election however, we read in the local newspaper that Mr Brantz was retroactively allowed to file the paperwork in question and that no other action was taken.”
Yates went on in her communication, “We have also complained about the use of ASU facilities and resources for political purposes by other ASU employees. As you probably know, ASU employee Stella Anderson has been actively engaged in partisan politics in Watauga County for some time now and served, for a time, as chair of the Watauga County board of elections. Mrs. Anderson is still active in Democrat party politics and we have reason to believe has used taxpayer resources at ASU in pursuit of her political agenda.” Yates also indicated that her request for Ms. Anderson's email to Dayton Cole, legal counsel for Appalachian State University, was answered calling it “Very broad and that it would require several man hours from his office for which he would have to pass the cost on to me.” She said that she reduced the request and asked for a cost estimate then resubmitted the request on January 10, 2014.
With no response, she said she resent her request to Chancellor Peacock and carbon copied Dayton Cole and received a response within five minutes, and apology, but no information on a time frame for response or the estimate as to the cost of this request. She said in her letter, “It is now over two months since my revised request and I have not been provided with ANY of the requested information.”
Yates said, “I am asking for your assistance in obtaining the requested information to which I am entitled as a matter of law. I do not wish to pursue legal action against the State if at all possible, but my only other remaining option would be through the court system.”
Yates said she was forwarding the correspondence to Hans, and was looking forward to a response.
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