Higher Education
11:55 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Deckard Speaks Out About KY Attorney General Opinion on MSU Board's Social Gathering

Lexington Attorney, Jim Deckard stands by his request that the Murray State Board of Regents should declare votes cast the day after an illegal meeting null and void. Deckard requested the board take action in an initial complaint on March 22nd regarding a social gathering of six regents the night before the board’s quarterly meeting. Deckard, following a denial from MSU, issued an appeal to the Kentucky Attorney General on April 1st. The Attorney General declared the social gathering of a quorum of regents illegal because board business was discussed and there were no minutes taken at the illegal meeting.

Board Chairman Constantine Curris confirmed to WKMS that university business was discussed the night of a social gathering at the home of Regent Sharon Green where six regents were present.  Curris said there was no vote counting, or planning for the next day’s meeting, but rather informal information discussions about university business. Regent Susan Guess, who attended the event, also confirmed no one asked her about her plans for votes on issues that came up at the subsequent meeting.

The Attorney General’s opinion is not law, and can be disputed in circuit court. Murray State University General Counsel John Rall says he cannot comment on whether or not MSU will proceed to challenge the opinion. Curris hasn’t responded recent requests for comment.

In an emailed statement Deckard won’t confirm whether or not he will proceed with any court action to force the board to revote on the issues discussed at the social gathering.  “The fact that Dr.Curris remains undeterred from the findings of the Attorney General that his secret meeting of the Board was illegal, that it violated the law, prove that he won't listen to the overwhelming voices of the students, faculty and the citizens of our Commonwealth, “ Deckard said. “This is a public university and its business must be conducted in public.  Every item on the Board's March 2013 agenda that was discussed in the secret meeting the night before is null and void. “

Deckard hasn’t responded to a request regarding who, if anyone is funding his legal work. In other Murray State legal action,  Deckard defended former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher  in 2006 when, then hopeful regent, Sharon Green and others filed suit challenging the governor’s  appointment of Judge Jeff Taylor to MSU’s board. Fletcher rejected two lists of possible candidates and later appointed Taylor. Franklin Circuit Court ruled the appointment lawful. Taylor, though, resigned his position in 2009 due to a Judicial Ethics Committee ruling that stated sitting judges serving on university boards violates the state constitution.