Goolsby defends proposal to take SBI from attorney general - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Goolsby defends proposal to take SBI from attorney general

The budget passed by the Republican-controlled Senate over the weekend would move the SBI to the Department of Public Safety. The budget passed by the Republican-controlled Senate over the weekend would move the SBI to the Department of Public Safety.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

A Wilmington lawmaker who oversees law enforcement spending in the Senate budget is defending a proposal to take the State Bureau of Investigation from the attorney general. 

"I want the SBI to have all the respect they deserve by being a non-political law enforcement agency commanded by a director who's non-political, who serves in multiple administrations," said Sen. Thom Goolsby.  

The budget passed by the Republican-controlled Senate over the weekend would move the SBI to the Department of Public Safety, where most of the state's law enforcement agencies are housed. 

Goolsby, who said the change would save $2 million each year, takes politics out of the SBI – but critics claim it would do just the opposite.  

"SBI agents are conducting investigations involving legislators and even investigations of the very agency to which this proposal seeks to move the SBI," Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to Senate Leader Phil Berger. 

Under the Senate plan, the governor would nominate a SBI director, who would be approved by lawmakers. The director would serve an eight-year term across multiple administrations, Goolsby explained. 

The N.C. Sheriff's Association opposes the move. Executive Director Eddie Caldwell said budget savings would "almost assuredly" come from personnel, and he says the SBI needs more agents. 

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