Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Glenpool City Council skips executive session for which no topic was listed
The Glenpool City Council did not go into an executive session with its attorney Tuesday night that would have been an apparent violation of the state Open Meeting Act, The Glenpool Post reports.
Rather than stating the specific investigation, claim or action to be discussed, the agenda had provided only the specific statutory authorization for the proposed executive session.
In an e-mail last Friday to a Glenpool resident and several city officials, Glenpool City Attorney Lowell Peterson had cited the state's attorney-client privilege as the reason for not including the specific item of business to be discussed in the executive session.
"I have exercised my statutory prerogative to advise the City Council that disclosing the nature of the claims, or the names of the claimants, in the matter under consideration would not be in the public interest," Peterson wrote. "I don't expect to change my thinking on this."
Attorneys for other public bodies have in recent months also contended that the Open Meeting Act provision allowing public bodies to discuss confidential communications with their attorneys is subject to the statute providing for the attorney-client privilege.
The FOI Oklahoma Blog on Monday had quoted two attorneys who explained why attorney-client privilege does not trump the Open Meeting Act's requirements for agendas.
The Glenpool Post published that blog posting online Monday.
At this point, I don't know what reason was given at the council meeting Tuesday night for not going into the executive session or the gist of the conversation between Peterson and the council members. When I find out, I will pass it along.
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications