Republican Lee Commissioners Ignore Illegal Meeting Warning

The Republican-led Lee County Board of Commissioners appear to have knowing broken the Open Meetings law, as shown by a recent article on The Rant. The commissioners were warned about the potential “liability”, via a staff memo, of having an official meeting in a gated community, but they carried on anyway. The meeting was obviously designed as an event solely for Republicans (including Republican candidates for various offices), but they conducted official business. The Rant has posted the memo and has also posted video of one citizen being turned away by a security guard from the event, clearly in violation of the law.

This story continues to grow, but what is evident now is that the Republicans on the board wanted this event, planned this event, and then ignored warnings that doing so could be illegal. Commission Chair Charlie Parks blamed closed-off event on “miscommunication,” but this is clearly not the case. He knew what he was doing. It was spelled out in the memo, but he and his Republican colleagues did it anyway.

This issue was discussed prior to the meeting here at BlueNC.

Comments

Besides public shaming ...

... which doesn't seem to have an impact on these clowns, what legal recourse would citizens have for violations of the open meetings law?

Here's an answer

from the NC Open Government Coalition:

What happens if the Open Meetings Law is violated?

  1. A court can issue a declaratory judgment, which is a finding that a violation has taken place.
  2. If someone seeks an injunction against violations, a court may order the public body not to violate the law in the future.
  3. A person can ask a court to invalidate an action taken (or deliberated) based upon a violation of the open meetings law. Your rights in the meeting

They have a great collection of FAQs and clear answers.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Good question, Teddy

If I were forced to guess, I'd say somebody (in Lee County) would have to file a formal complaint. A lot of the laws/rules dealing with government issues must be triggered by a complaint, which irks the living shit out of me. If nobody complains, does that mean no law has been broken?