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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Pages Categorized With: "10004(c) Requirements to Meet in Executive Session"

15-IB10 12/1/2015 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Young re: FOIA Complaints Concerning the Christina School Board

The petitioner alleged that the Christina School District (“CSB”) violated FOIA by discussing the superintendent’s competency and abilities in executive session; by holding a vote in executive session; and by not making public a copy of the superintendent contract more than 6 hours before meeting to vote on it. Held: The CSB did not violate FOIA when it discussed the district superintendent’s competency and abilities in executive session at the August 2015 board meeting. The CSB did violate FOIA when it held a vote in executive session at the August meeting. However, we find that the executive session vote did not affect substantial public rights because no law requires executive sessions to be audio recorded. Therefore, no remediation is required. Finally, we conclude that the CSB did not violate FOIA’s meeting notice requirements when it circulated a copy of the superintendent’s contract less than six hours prior to the September 2015 board meeting.

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15-IB06 08/19/15 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Marcia L. Schieck and Ms. Dell Tush re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Dewey Beach

The petitioners made 8 allegations of Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) violations by the Town of Dewey Beach (“the Town”) including holding discussion of a potential property purchase by email, holding a special meeting inconsistent with regular meeting day and time, posting insufficient or inaccurate agendas for two meetings, failing to meet the 15 business day deadline to provide requested records, and by failing to keep minutes of executive sessions. Held: The emails regarding property purchase did not constitute a “serial meeting” because there was not a quorum of commissioners participating. Meeting notices, agendas, and use of executive sessions complied with FOIA. A properly noticed meeting does not violate FOIA by being held at a different day and time than usual. The Town missed the 15 day deadline to provide requested records and failed to create minutes of the meeting of January 2, 2015 in a timely manner.

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11-IB08 05/05/11 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Kramer re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Sussex County Council

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE Attorney General Opinion No. 11-IB08 May 5, 2011 Mr. Daniel J. Kramer 8041 Scotts Store Road Greenwood, DE 19950 RE:  Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Sussex County Council Dear Mr. Kramer: By letters of March 23, 2011 and March 26, 2011, you have asked […]

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10-IB17 12/15/10 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Cahill re: FOIA Complaint Against Town of Smyrna

Complainant assert that Town violated FOIA by not having public meetings of committee charged with selecting police chief, by not releasing applications for police chief position, and by the Town council having email discussions outside of public meeting relating to Town business. Town concedes that the subcommittee did not hold public meetings. Council concedes that members did exchange emails on Town business, but no vote was ever taken via email. HELD: Town violated FOIA by not having subcommittee hold public meetings concerning applications for selection of police chief. Town remedied the violation by holding public meeting. Town did not violate FOIA by not releasing applications. Those documents are confidential as records relating to job qualifications of applicants for public employment. Council emails did not violate FOIA because no votes were taken by email.

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10-IB11 09/08/10 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Wright re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Dewey Beach

Complainant asserts Town violated FOIA open meeting requirements with respect to certain executive sessions regarding draft minutes, lack of video recording, lack of reason for executive session on agenda’s. HELD: FOIA does not require draft minutes or video recording. Town concedes that official minutes did not include reason for executive session and concedes that two agenda’s did not include reason for executive session. Town took remedial action by conducting properly noticed meetings and amending minutes.

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10-IB02 01/25/10 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. McCoy re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Bethel

Complainant asserts that Town violated FOIA open meetings requirements when it held executive session to discuss subdivision applications. Town’s agenda properly posted and noticed the executive session but did not state the purpose. Town asserted that executive session was for purpose of receiving legal advice. After going into executive session and receiving legal advice, the Council discussed the applications for about an hour and voted on the applications before coming out of executive session. They re-voted at the public continued public meeting. Meeting minutes did not reflect legal advice. HELD: Executive Session was held for the proper purpose of receiving legal advice. However, Council violated FOIA by not listing the purpose of the executive session on the agenda, discussing applications during executive session and not properly reflecting legal advice in minutes.

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