Monday, February 7, 2011

1 of 3 rulings regarding Butler County says public has no right to take part in official meetings

State law does not give members of the public the right to participate in open meetings of public agencies, Attorney General Jack Conway ruled in the most substantive of three open-meetings decisions involving the Butler County Fiscal Court and Robert D. Cron, who was a candidate for county judge-executive in 2010 and has persistently dogged open-government issues in the county northwest of Bowling Green.

Cron accused the fiscal court of violating the state Open Meetings Act by instituting a new procedure requiring visitors to identify themselves and have their issues placed on the meeting agenda before having an opportunity to address the court. The attorney general disagreed, saying the law does not provide a statutory right for the public to participate in public meetings or address members of a public agency.

Cron fared better in the other two cases. In one, he alleged that the fiscal court held a closed meeting to discuss hiring a part-time employee on Jan. 6, 2011, and failed to respond to his complaint within three days. Attorney Richard J. Deye replied that much like a recent case in Knott County, the meeting was improper and the fiscal court promises not to do it again.
In the third ruling, the AG's office could not decide conclusively if the fiscal court violated the law when it changed the time of a meeting from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., "but the weight of the evidence suggests that it did." Cron complained that the court did not properly announce the time change. The court and Cron agree about "the sequence of events which resulted in the other complaint," but disagreed about the legal implications.


  1. On May 28, 2014, Circuit Court Judge Dortch issued an ORDER with regards to ACTION NO. 13-CI-00037. Robert Cron filed an Open Records case against the Butler County Fiscal Court in Circuit Court. The Order rules in favor of Cron, requires the County to pay expenses, and rules against the County. I won my case in Circuit Court, now it is up to someone to file charges for violating State Law, using an affidavit from the Judge/Executive, David Fields, stating that he and the County did not comply with the Law in obtaining an Appraisal of property they bought for monies greater than the $40 K stated in the Law KRS 61.870 to 61.884. This time Butler County lost in Circuit Court, and they have been ordered to pay $199 and change.

  2. Butler County Circuit Court, ACTION NO.13-CI-00037. An action I brought against the Butler County Fiscal Court for not honoring my Open Records Request. Because the records never existed KRS 61.870 to 61.884 was violated by the Fiscal Court, the Judge/Executive issued a sworn affidavit stating the County never obtained an appraisal for property they bought that exceeded the $40 K limit the law stipulates. Judge Dortch ruled in my favor, on the Open Records Violation, ordered the County to pay my fee cost, $199.44, and ruled against their motion to dismiss. Now the question becomes, who is going to bring charges against the County for violating State Law twice, especially when they are issued a copy of the duties of the Fiscal Court. Their contract is not legal, the Law states an appraisal by a Certified State Appraiser SHALL be done if the cost is greater than 40K, AND the County cannot pay more than the appraised value. Will Butler County get by with breaking State Law, continue to make payments on 11 acres it bought for $250,000.00....given that there was never a figure denoting what the value was and how much the County could pay. I have no money to bring action against the County, but surely some agency can, and seems to me to be fraud, but then I am not a Lawyer and cannot make such a judgement....probably the court can.... my case was an Open Records Violation, which I won.