Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Attorney general approves Hopkinsville council's vague motion for 'appropriate legal action'

The Hopkinsville City Council was justified in deliberately leaving vague its motion to take action after a closed discussion because the matter involved legal strategy, the state attorney general's office has ruled.

The Kentucky New Era newspaper had complained that the council, which met in closed session to discuss litigation with AT&T, had "violated the spirit and foundation of Kentucky's Open Meetings Act" when it voted only to "take appropriate legal action" following the secret discussion. The attorney general's decision said that while "such a vaguely worded motion might, under a different set of facts, represent little more than a strategem to 'shield the agency from unwanted or unleasant pulbic input, interference or scrutiny'," in this case the council was justified in trying to protect its legal strategy, and therefore did not violate the law.

For a full text of this and other recent attorney general rulings, see Links of Interest below. The opinion is 10-OMD-007.

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