Under the Dome

Senate GOP strikes investigative grand juries from bill

Republican lawmakers on Tuesday struck from a law enforcement bill a provision that would have allowed prosecutors to convene investigative grand juries in bribery and corruption cases.

The provision has been championed by district attorneys and last week Attorney General Roy Cooper issued a statement urging approval. Cooper has been pushing for such a law for a decade, saying it would be useful to compel testimony in certain circumstances.

“Accusations of public corruption are often difficult to prove, and law enforcement and prosecutors need better tools to root out wrong doing by government officials,” Cooper said. “Investigative grand juries can help uncover the truth and restore faith in government.”

The provision was in House Bill 1044, which had cleared the House and another Senate committee. The remainder of the bill addresses disparate law enforcement issues, including establishing a statewide “Blue Alert” system to help catch people suspected of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer.