The Idaho Attorney General’s office filed charges Wednesday against the three Ada County Commissioners for violation of the state open meeting law stemming from a meeting with Boise City Councilor Vern Bisterfeldt.
The three count civil complaint in Fourth District Court alleges the closed meeting was illegal because:
–no attorney was present and there was no “impending legal action” which would have made it proper to exclude the public.
–No formal minutes were kept detailing the discussions in the closed meeting.
–No record was made of the vote to go into executive session.
The GUARDIAN figures there will be some “plea bargaining” when it is all over and the first charge of holding an illegal closed session will be the one that stands. The commishs tried to downplay the incident, claiming they had done nothing wrong.
However, last week when they found they had scheduled a PUBLIC meeting at the PRIVATE Arid Club over a detox center, two stayed away to preclude a quorum and Chairman Rick Yzaguirre decided to leave after talking to the GUARDIAN and mainstream media reporters.
There probably wasn’t much consideration on the part of the commishs when they closed the meeting last spring, but they know now that you can’t keep the press and public out just so you can “talk frankly.” Government needs to be conducted in public and the AG is sending a message to ALL elected officials that he is watching.
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