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May 18, 2020

Request: Did the City of Napoleon violate the open meetings laws by failing to properly notice a meeting, failing to follow proper executive session procedures, and holding an unauthorized executive session?

Conclusion: In response to concerns raised at its regular monthly meeting, the City of Napoleon entered into an executive session with its attorney. The executive session was held in response to concerns raised at the meeting and was not anticipated at the time the meeting agenda was prepared. However, the city failed to announce the legal authority for holding the executive session or pass a motion to enter the executive session for attorney consultation. The majority of the executive session was unauthorized because the discussions were related to personnel issues. A governing body may not hold an executive session to discuss personnel matters, even though it may be uncomfortable to discuss them at an open meeting. The city violated the open meetings law by failing to follow proper executive session procedures and by discussing personnel issues during the executive session.

Opinion 2020-O-03

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