They are employees who have committed crimes on the job, won their positions through political connections or have received big salaries and plum positions over the years.
They work, or worked, in state and local public jobs. Taxpayers paid their salaries, but they aren't entitled to know the details of these employees' hiring, compensation over the years, or performance. North Carolina's personnel law virtually shuts down that information.
On Sunday, The News & Observer began a three-part series, Keeping Secrets, that looks at the personnel law, what it hides and how its secrecy compares with other states. Day One looked at employees who behave badly, while Day Two looked at patronage and cronyism. The series includes a survey of state lawmakers on the issue, as well as comments from top legislative leaders. The series concludes Tuesday with a look at compensation and employment histories.