Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said in a post on his Facebook page that he has notified Gov. Roy Cooper that he plans to sue Cooper for violating the Emergency Management Act.
The Facebook post states, “Today, I notified Governor Cooper that, as a member of the Council of State, I will be suing his administration for violating the Emergency Management Act. The Governor has repeatedly ignored the law, enacting mandates that selectively target the businesses and citizens of North Carolina without concurrence from a majority of the Council of State.
“Before I officially file my suit, the Governor is required by law to approve the use of independent legal counsel. State agencies in North Carolina are required to use the Attorney General’s office to file lawsuits or else get an exception from the Governor. As the Attorney General has been responsible for drafting the unlawful Executive Orders I’m challenging, I have decided the only path forward is with independent counsel.”
The letter to Cooper begins, “On March 17, 2020, you issued Executive Order No. 118, entitled ‘Limiting Operations of Restaurants and Bars and Broadening Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Response to COVID19.’ That executive order contained section 1, which limited the sale of food and beverages by restaurants to carry-out, drive-through, and delivery only. You had requested concurrence from the Council of State for section 1 of Executive Order No. 118, but as I am sure that you will recall, a majority of the members felt that a further discussion was needed, and therefore they did not concur in your request. Despite the Council of State’s objections, you proceeded to issue the order.”
The letter from Forest to Cooper continues in a similar fashion about Cooper not getting concurrence from the Council of State on the executive orders he issued on March 27, April 23 and May 5 and the June 24 order requiring everyone in the state to wear masks.
It also notes that the Emergency Management Act requires that Cooper “seek and receive concurrence from the Council of State prior to exercising the most expansive statewide emergency powers of the Governor.”
Forest also asks that Cooper waive the requirement that Forest use the Attorney General to represent him in this lawsuit and requests an answer by 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 25.