Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 26, 2014

Local officials violate Iowa's open meeting law 3 times in 3 weeks

CENTERVILLE, Iowa — The Appanoose County Board of Supervisors and County Auditor Linda Demry violated the state open meeting law three times in less than three weeks recently when they interviewed candidates for the vacant county attorney’s position, a state agency has determined.

The staff of the Iowa Public Information Board said no notice of the April 25, May 6 and May 13 sessions were sent to The Daily Iowegian newspaper as required by Iowa law, causing the meetings to be illegal.

But the staff report recommended no punitive action be taken against the county supervisors or the auditor. Open meeting law violations in Iowa can result in fines, removal from office or reversal  of any official action.

A settlement agreement with The Daily Iowegian, which initiated the violations complaint, requires the county supervisors and auditor to attend a webinar training session on their obligations under the state open meeting law, and to avoid future violations.

The nine-member Iowa Public Information Board will meet July 10 to formally approve the agreement. 

The county attorney’s job in the southern  Iowa county was vacant due to the April 25 death of Richard Scott, 40, who was elected to the position twice. The county supervisors appointed attorney Susan C. Daniels of Centerville to fill the vacancy June 2.

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Details for this story were provided by The Daily Iowegian, Centerville, Iowa.

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