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Secret Casper City Council meeting stirs debate
Question of the Day
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Casper official is insisting that an unannounced City Council meeting involving a councilman’s conflict of interest case was legal.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1haB3sB ) the meeting was held over Skype on Tuesday.
City Manager John Patterson says the meeting wasn’t an executive session that would require notifying the public it would occur. Bruce Moats, a Cheyenne attorney specializing in media law, says there are no exceptions under Wyoming’s public meetings act.
Patterson said the council had requested a meeting with Rose, and the opportunity to hold one came up at the last minute. Patterson said Rose told him the meeting wasn’t an “executive session,” because the council was not meeting as a legislative body, but as a hearing body, exempt from public notification.
Moats cited a previous case in which the court ruled there was no such thing under the public meetings act.
“No, that had to be a noticed meeting,” Moats said.
Casper Mayor Paul Meyer said he received an email Tuesday morning about the meeting. He had what he called a “meet and greet” with Rose before excusing himself.
Meyer said only Hedquist and Councilman Steve Cathey weren’t present, and no staff members were in the meeting.
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com
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