Attorney General says Edgar County Board violated Open Meetings Act –
April 29, 2016 ·
EDGAR CO., IL. (ECWd) –
The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has issued a determination on a complaint filed alleging an Open Meetings violation from a meeting held on October 26, 2015.
The AG PAC determined that the Edgar County Board violated the Open Meetings Act four times in the same meeting. The AG-PAC has requested the county board make the audio recordings available for certain portions of that meeting because they were improperly discussed in a closed meeting.
Among the violations listed are:
- The Board has acknowledged that no minutes were approved or maintained for either the open or closed session of the October 26, 2015, meeting. Accordingly, this office concludes that the Board violated section 2.06( a) and 2. 06( b) of OMA by failing to approve and keep minutes of that meeting.
- we conclude that the Board violated section 2( a) of OMA by holding improper closed session discussions on items 1 and 5 pursuant to the section 2( c)( 1) exception.
- During the closed session, the discussion was described as involving negotiations” with a lessee, but the Board did not discuss the setting of a price for the property. Rather the Board discussed the process for and potential scope of an agreement. Accordingly, we conclude that the Board violated section 2( a) of OMA by holding an improper closed session discussion on item no. 6 pursuant to the section 2( c)( 6) exception.
- the Board did not record and enter into the closed session minutes findings that litigation with either matter was ” probable,” because, as described above, there were no minutes kept. Accordingly, we conclude that the Board violated section 2( a) of OMA by holding an improper closed session discussion pursuant to the section 2( c)( 11) exception.
The PAC also stated that:
With respect to items nos. 4, 5, and 6, which took place after the State’ s Attorney left the meeting, this office does not discern that the discussions consist of potentially privileged communications and therefore requests that those portions of the closed session recording be released. We also request that the Board prepare minutes for the open and closed sessions of the October 26, 2015, meeting in accordance with section 2. 06( a) of OMA.
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