The constitutional independence of these offices, and their differing functions and duties, create clear potential for conflict between their respective holders. In the event of such conflict, power in the Attorney General to resolve, without their consent, controversies involving agencies or departments under the supervision of the Governor, could be abused by exercise in a manner effectively derogative of the Governor's constitutional duties to exercise executive power and to supervise the official conduct of all executive officers. We do not believe the General Assembly, in the enactment of G.S. 114-2(2), intended to create such potential.
This practice [of hiring additional counsel] would, however, cause additional expense to the State. It would also undermine, and perhaps ultimately destroy, the customary role of the Attorney General's office in representing the agencies and departments of the State, a role which historically has served the State well.
Thus, to avoid additional expense to the State, and to preserve for the Attorney General's office a well-established role of proven utility, we believe the better rule to be that an agency or department of the State should have the right possessed by other litigants to determine whether its counsel, whether the Attorney General or otherwise, can enter a consent judgment on its behalf. Such a right is also consonant with fulfillment by the respective agencies and departments of the State of their statutorily assigned duties.