Public records suit filed in dentist fracas

The lobbying group for dental management agencies wants more public records from N.C. Board of Dental Examiners.

Posted Updated

Mark Binker

The short version is that a group of dentists who want to affiliate with for-profit management groups are battling a proposed law put forward by the N.C. Dental Society and the state Board of Dental Examiners. The law would limit the management arrangements dentists can enter. 

The two sides roughly break down between the corporate dentists, represented by the Alliance for Access to Dental Care, and more traditional, stand-alone practitioners, who seem to be backing the dental board and society. 

As part of their fight, the alliance sought records from the dental board. Susan Vick, the alliances executive director, didn't get everything she asked for so she has now sued the board.

Much of what she was seeking included e-mails among board members and staff, which the board claimed were exempt from disclosure.

"The e-mails may also contain facts or information indicating a reason other than 'public protection' for the passage of SB 655, since the 'protection' of the public ostensibly provided by the bill has not been needed during the past 20 plus years in which at least two members of the AADC have operated in North Carolina," reads a portion of the suit. 

Vick asks the court to order the board to turn over those e-mails and urges a quick ruling because her group is fighting the bill, which could be heard during the May legislative session.

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