Request: Did the Billings County Commission violate the open meetings laws when a quorum met in a series of smaller gatherings without providing notice to the public?
Conclusion: The Billings County Commissioners met individually with then North Dakota Department of Transportation Director Bill Panos and discussed the Little Missouri Bridge, a potential county project. The Commission expressed no intent to circumvent the open meetings laws; however, intent is not a requirement. The Commission did purposefully meet, collectively involving a quorum, in order to discuss public business. Therefore, the Billings County Commission violated open meetings laws when it failed to provide notice of such meetings to the public.
This opinion may be viewed at: 2022-O-16