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AGs office to mediate public records dispute with town, local contractor

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

It has been more than three months since Kevin Alderman requested public records from the town of Holden Beach, and the N.C. Attorney General’s Office is now involved.

Since first sending the request to Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett in June, Alderman has not received any requested records.

On June 13, Alderman, the president of Alderman Brothers Construction Inc., requested official documents from the town regarding the Holden Beach Harbor dredging project.

Documents in Alderman’s original request include invoices, bills, e-mails and other correspondence between the town and Brunswick Surveying, Withers and Ravenel, Right Angle Engineering and any other consultant or designer regarding the Holden Beach Harbor dredging project.

Alderman also requested any pre-or-post-dredge reports and work requests or invoices regarding the dredging project.

Noelle Talley, spokesperson for the N.C. Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office, said Alderman first contacted the attorney general’s office in July.

“We’ve since been in touch with [Alderman] and the Holden Beach Town Manager by phone and are trying to mediate this public records dispute,” Talley wrote in an e-mail to the Beacon.

In a July 14 letter from Alderman to N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, Alderman asked the attorney general’s office to contact the town of Holden Beach to request they comply with their public records request “so that the expense of a court hearing may be avoided.”

When contacted by the Beacon in July, town manager David Hewett said Alderman’s public records request was not complete because of the “extensive nature” of the request.

A message left for Hewett was not returned at press time Tuesday.

North Carolina General Statute 132-1 (a) defines public records as “documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions.”