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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frank Daniels Jr., September 11, 2002. Interview R-0320. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Public bodies' instinct to conceal vs. the press's instinct to uncover

Daniels explains that the natural tendency of public bodies to conceal the content of their meetings results in conflict with the press.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frank Daniels Jr., September 11, 2002. Interview R-0320. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KATHLEEN KEARNS:
Do you remember Ed Hollowell?
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
Oh, yes. The lawyer. Inept. Inept. Built a hell of a practice doing hospital legal work. He was their lawyer on the open meetings, open records question. He didn't know what he was doing. Bill Lassiter just beat the shit out of him. He's dead now.
KATHLEEN KEARNS:
He was your attorney?
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
He was our lawyer. He was a First Amendment lawyer throughout North Carolina. He worked for the Press Association and usually if you had a First Amendment issue, on open records and open meetings, he was responsible for writing much of the open records and open meetings laws. Particularly after this case, there were always attempts to limit the effect of the case by the legislature, to say, "Well, you can have a closed meeting if you do certain things. And at that meeting, you may discuss personnel matters or attorney-client matters, or contracts, and acquisitions." I believe that was all of them. And then they started trying to broaden that out. There's a natural tendency on the part of public bodies not to want to have open meetings. It's just natural. And so it's a constant conflict.