Friday, November 16, 2012

State education board denies violating Open Meeting Act with incomplete agenda item

The state Education Board didn't violate the Open Meeting Act in September by omitting from the agenda the item of business that would be discussed in an executive session, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
The department's reasoning boils down to 'cause we say we didn't.
"We believe the actions of the Board, both with regard to posting and procedure, were in compliance with the Open Meeting Act. We are evaluating established processes of the Department to ensure they are and remain fully complaint with the law," said Tricia Pemberton in an email to Kurt Gwartney, KGOU news director.
Gwartney, who had questioned the vague agenda item, said Friday that he intends to bring a complaint to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater next week.
I explained in early October why the omission violates not only the wording of the Open Meeting Act but also conflicts with previous attorney general opinions and pronouncements by the current AG for the past year.
As Gwartney later noted, "The agenda item basically gave the reader absolutely no idea what the board would be discussing."
Let's hope Prater agrees that the board violated the Open Meeting Act and at the very least tells the board to change its ways.

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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