CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The UNC Board of Governor’s passed a measure Friday during their meeting that calls on the North Carolina Attorney General’s office to set aside money to pay for the university system’s House Bill 2 legal costs.RELATED: FULL HB2 COVERAGE
The motion passed by the Board said if Cooper does not respond to the motion within 60 days or responds no and says the attorney general’s office won’t cover the fees, then the Board will ask the General Assembly to set aside money in the budget that would’ve gone to the attorney general’s office to instead go to the UNC Board of Governors in order for them to pay for the HB2 legal costs.
“His budget is set aside to defend us and he’s refusing to do so. There’s nothing outrageous about what we’re asking,” said board member Thom Goolsby.
Board Chair Lou Bissette wrote a letter asking the AG’s office to set aside the funds.
“You have to have adequate representation and we intend to have adequate representation, but it’s not inexpensive,” Bissette said. “It’s a serious matter for us. It’s a lot of money.”
The University of North Carolina system sent out a press release detailing the reasoning behind their call for Cooper’s office to pay the system’s legal fees.
Although the North Carolina Attorney General ordinarily represents the University and its officials in litigation, the AG’s office has declined to provide legal representation to the University in this matter. Fees for outside legal services will be paid from a combination of non-state funds and state appropriations.
The University remains in regular contact with the Department of Justice about ways to constructively resolve its inquiry into the University’s compliance with federal civil rights laws. The UNC system has not changed its nondiscrimination policies and practices in response to the passage of HB2, and campuses have taken no action to prevent individuals from accessing facilities based on gender identity. UNC campuses have long worked to accommodate the needs of students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds and to ensure our campuses are welcoming and inclusive for all.”
In response, Cooper’s office released a statement that read:
“The Attorney General would encourage the UNC Board of Governors to help fight HB2 by urging the governor and legislature to repeal the law which would quickly solve the problem.”