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Monday, June 25, 2007

NJ School Board Whacked for $18,000 for Withholding Minutes of Open Meeting

"A school board that refused to provide complete minutes of board meetings was ordered to pay $18,000 in penalties and legal fees after a newspaper sued." When the school board's legal fees are added, the total loss for the students of the NJ district is about $50,000.

To be crystal clear: Minutes of an open meeting in Washington are public records subject to disclosure. The law provides: "The minutes of all regular and special meetings except executive sessions of [all] boards, commissions, agencies or authorities shall be promptly recorded and such records shall be open to public inspection."

Tip of the hat to Leslie Graves for this story. She operates a great blog called State Sunshine and Open Records. She provides a weekly roundup of open-government news stories from around the United States in a feature called Random Friday Links, from which I found the NJ story.