Editor's Note

The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

School board reaches settlement in newspaper suit

The Steamboat Springs School Board in Colorado agreed to pay $50,000 of The Steamboat Pilot & Today's attorney fees after a lawsuit stemming from the board's violation of open meetings laws. The board will also have to release minutes from that executive session in which its “notice was deficient in failing to state that the executive session would concern the release of the survey results. In addition, the notice was deficient in not identifying that the ‘personnel matter’ was specifically the performance of the superintendent.”
The Steamboat Springs School Board formally accepted a lawsuit settlement offer from the Pilot & Today on Monday.

The settlement was tentatively approved by board members last month on the heels of a March ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals that the previous School Board violated the state’s Open Meetings Law by not properly announcing the intention of its executive session at a Jan. 8, 2007, meeting. As a result of the ruling and settlement offer, the district will pay $50,000 of the newspaper’s attorney fees and release the transcripts from the illegal meeting.

The motion to accept the settlement offer was approved 4-1 on Monday, with a couple of board members expressing satisfaction that the lawsuit is now behind them. Board member John DeVincentis was the only dissenting vote, but he wasn’t the only one displeased with the outcome.

More here.

No comments: