In pursuit of a taxpayer-funded audit:
News emerged last year that more than 115 items were missing from the APD evidence room. Asheville City Council ordered a $175,000 audit and then-APD Chief Bill Hogan promptly resigned. But after the audit was finished in January, the district attorney declined to release it in the face of multiple records requests.
I caught part of this story on Frank Stacio's program a little while ago. Unfortunately, this is not the first case of guns, drugs and money going missing from PD evidence lock-ups. And as long as the powers that be try to stifle the public release of information associated with these cases, this problem will continue.
“As a result of Defendants’ violation of the Public Records Act, Plaintiffs’ and the public’s understanding of the people’s business has been and is being impaired,” the suit declares. “The information sought by Plaintiffs is essential to the maintaining of the public’s understanding of and confidence in the work of law enforcement officials supervised by Defendants.”
I know this is going to sound "big government" to say it, but it's long past time we developed a better system for storing/disposing this stuff. It would be better to destroy valuable evidence (especially the drugs), than have it sitting around waiting for someone to toss a moral coin and grab it, putting other lives at risk just so they could make a mortgage payment.
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