Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oklahoma Watchdog: DHS legal staff to respond to DA’s request for explanation regarding Open Meeting Act violations

State Department of Human Services legal staff, not the commission overseeing DHS, will respond to the Oklahoma County district attorney's request a week earlier for a written explanation for why two issues "should not be viewed as willful violations of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act," Oklahoma Watchdog reported Friday.

District Attorney David Prater said the commission's "actions of not reconvening after executive session and of possibly utilizing a committee with de facto decision-making authority may potentially constitute willful violations of the Act."

Prater's request for more information was directed to Commission Chairman Richard L. DeVaughn. Prater told the Tulsa World, "It's giving them a chance to defend their position, giving them some due process."

The Oklahoma Commission for Human Services certainly seems to have violated the Open Meeting Act in some instances. For more explanation, read "DHS commission falls short of Open Meeting Act requirements, DA says."

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.

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