State attorney questioned Dix land deal - WNCN: News, Weather

State attorney questioned Dix land deal

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Emails show the North Carolina attorney general's staff had questions about the procedures used in a deal between the state and the city of Raleigh for the Dorothea Dix hospital.
    
Emails released Tuesday indicate the attorney general's staff thought a second vote was needed by the Council of State on the deal.
    
A 75-year lease was approved in December by the Council of State and completed by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue just before she left office. The city wants the old mental health hospital for a regional park.
    
The state Senate has voted to overturn the deal, saying the state is not getting enough for the land. The bill is pending in the House.
    
"It was kind of an end-run to the process," said Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, who co-sponsored the bill. "This is the point of the city taking property from state government - a power grab without question."
    
The emails show some state officials were given only one morning to review the deal.
    
Don Teeter, special deputy attorney general, wrote that one section of the lease went beyond the terms that the Council of State had approved in its vote.
    
He suggested sending the language back to the Council of State for another vote, which he said "is at least wise and probably required."
    
State Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat strongly opposed to overturning the lease, said the agreement remains a valid contract and the state should keep its end of the deal.
    
"The way I read it was just one lawyer being cautious," Stein said Tuesday. "The attorney general voted for the lease. If he thought it were illegal or in need of some major reform, I don't think he would have supported it."

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