The head of a conservative-leaning group says money paid annually by pork producers from a 2000 settlement with North Carolina must go to public schools rather than grants designed to improve the environment.
Francis DeLuca of the Civitas Institute sued Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in Wake County court Tuesday. DeLuca wants a judge to force Cooper — also running for governor this fall — to stop the payments of up to $2 million and to recoup those funds back to 2014. The complaint cites a 2005 state Supreme Court decision in its arguments.
Cooper predecessor Mike Easley negotiated the agreement with Smithfield Foods and subsidiaries.
Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley says the lawsuit "gets the law wrong and the settlement wrong" and that the money goes directly to program recipients.