NEWTON, IL. (ECWd) -
The Illinois Attorney General's Public Access Counselor has issued a letter (here or read it below) to the Jasper County Community Unit School District #1 in response to an allegation of an Open Meetings Act violation after the board's December 18, 2017, Board of Education meeting.
The allegations, made by me (email here), are that the board of education improperly entered into a closed session of the board, thereby violating the Open Meetings Act thru:
- failing to vote in open session to enter into a closed session
- failed to disclose the reason for entering into a closed session
- failed to records the vote for each member on entering into a closed session
- entered into a closed session for a reason other than those provided for in the OMA
- failed to record the closed session
This came after the Newton Police and Jasper County Sheriff's Deputy arrived at the meeting location due to a false 911 call made by board member Melissa Stanley (here and here). As can be seen in the video below, the police officer entered the boardroom, and Ms. Stanley slammed the door in my face, causing me to fear for my safety (just kidding about the fear of safety part), without anyone asking the door to be shut, thereby creating the improper closed session of the board.
This closed session continued for approximately 29 seconds, which can never be returned to the public. During this 29 seconds, board member Holly Farley apparently made a false claim to the officer, who wrote in his report, that I had been "leaning over the desk, pointing his finger at her and raising his voice. She said that he demanded that she listen to him, whether she liked it or not" (here).
Watch that portion of the video below: