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August 10, 2022

AG: Coles County Board Violated Open Meetings Act

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On April 11, 2022

Coles Co. (ECWd) –

The Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has determined the Coles County Board violated the Open Meetings Act by failing to post a notice and the agenda 48 hours in advance of its December 7, 2020, meeting.

Rather than simply admit to the error when asked to respond to the allegation, the State’s Attorney provided this response with exhibits, all of which had nothing to do with the allegation pertaining to their violation.

The AG PAC confirmed in their response, “The response provided by the Coles County State’s Attorney did not include the requested notice, agenda, or minutes of the December 7, 2020, Committee meeting requested by this office. Because there is no evidence that the Committee provided advance notice of its December 7, 2020, or any indication that it posted an agenda 48-hours before that meeting, this office concludes that the Committee violated sections 2.02(a), 2.02(b), and 2.02(c) of OMA.”

While the legislature intended for such violations to be a Class C Misdemeanor, we have little faith the plain language of the law will ever be applied to those who continue to violate it, especially when those responsible for any such prosecution are the legal counsel for those violating the law in their presence.

66240 o 202a 202b 202c improper co (002)

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