Monday, November 17, 2008

Two New Open Meeting Investigations

In Brookfield, the Worcester district attorney is investigating allegations that the Board of Selectmen violated the open meeting law twice in as many months, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports. Two selectmen are alleged to have participated in unposted meetings on July 8 and Sept. 9. Both allegedly involved private meetings held just prior to or immediately following public selectmen's meetings.

In Harvard, School Committee Chairman Stuart Sklar announced during a public meeting that the district attorney's office is investigating whether the committee violated the open meeting law on Sept. 18, Nashoba Publishing reports. Three of the committee's five members attended a "coffee" at one member's home to receive public input regarding a contract extension for the school superintendent.

The latter item provides this week's classic misinterpretation of the open meeting law. School Committee Chairman Sklar offered this explanation for why he believed no violation occurred: "I was very careful to not speak to [fellow committee member Patty Wenger] when I was there. And if I remember correctly, Patty didn't speak at all."

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