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Mon February 6, 2012
Judge: Financial review teams must comply with Michigan's Open Meetings Act
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette ruled this afternoon that state-appointed local financial review teams are public bodies that must comply with the Michigan Open Meetings Act.
State-appointed financial review teams are part of a process in determining whether a city or a school district is in a state of financial emergency.
If a financial review team declares a "financial emergency," then the state can appoint an emergency manager to run the school district or municipality.
State officials have maintained that these review teams do not have to comply with the Michigan Open Meetings Act.
Judge Collette agreed with the plaintiff in the case - Robert Davis, the board secretary of the Highland Park School District.
Davis said the state's financial review team violated Michigan's Open Meetings Act by holding private meetings, failing to post public notices for the meetings, and for failing to keep minutes of the meetings.
The Associated Press reports that Judge Collette said he was issuing a preliminary injunction saying any future state-appointed financial review team meetings must comply with the act.
Laura Weber of the Michigan Public Radio Network is following this story and will have an update later.