by Lisa Sorg
Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt has asked the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms for a review of all legislative security cameras after Senate cameras overlooking the chamber reportedly malfunctioned earlier this week.
In a letter to Philip King, Nesbitt also requested that the sergeant-at-arms' office:
1. Immediately archive and save indefinitely the recordings of all security footage taken by the security cameras that were functional in the Legislative Building on March 22, 2011, so this footage is not lost or recorded-over, and
2. Provide my office with a copy of all security camera footage and/or recordings taken by the security cameras that were functional in the Legislative Building on March 22, 2011.
Nesbitt, a Democrat from Buncombe County, called for the camera review after an unknown person placed documents about a former governor on senators' desks earlier this week. The documents, as WRAL reported, criticized former Gov. William Holden, who was impeached 140 years ago after calling out the state militia against the Ku Klux Klan's incitement of racial violence in the state.
Coincidentally, the eight cameras in Senate Chambers were on the fritz during the time the letters could have been placed on the desks. It is against Senate rules for anyone except the senators themselves to do so.
Of the "47 cameras in the General Assembly campus," it turned out that "the camera in this [Senate] chamber was on the blink yesterday" and did not record any footage that would be of use in the investigation, Nesbitt wrote.