Attorney General Sides with New Era on Open Meetings Complaint

May 24, 2013

Credit Kentucky New Era

Kentucky's Attorney General has sided with the Hopkinsville's newspaper over open meetings complaints it filed against the city council.

Kentucky New Era reporter Carla Jimenez says she filed the complaints after a closed meeting of an April Compensation Committee where five additional city council members attended.

The committee discussed a proposed contract for Melissa Spurr who was then a candidate for city administrative officer. Jimenez says Spurr removed herself from consideration May 7th.

“She said at the time that it was a personal decision,” Jimenez says. “She decided to remover herself from consideration and that’s all we know.

The New Era complained that the city broke the open meetings law because Spurr works for the city as a budget officer, essentially giving her a promotion. Under Kentucky law closed sessions of public boards can only involve discussion on the hiring, firing or disciplining of an employee. The newspaper also claimed the additional five council members in the closed meeting made it a quorum, or unofficial meeting of the city council.

The city has 30 days to file an appeal with the circuit court. If it does not appeal, the decision has the full weight of the law.