Thursday, August 24, 2006

Banks -- Open Meetings Law Violated!!!!!

Open Meeting Law Violated on Banks

From the Cincinnati Enquirer…

A master developer to guide construction of The Banks - the $600 million riverfront development long proposed for downtown Cincinnati - will be selected next month.

That revelation came from Hamilton County Commission President Phil Heimlich on Wednesday, just three days after he and others who will be involved in the selection returned from an unannounced trip to Atlanta, where they toured a similar development there led by AIG/Carter, one of the developers still in the running to lead The Banks.

Heimlich went on the trip with Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and a few members of the Banks Working Group - a five-member board that will recommend a master developer. That recommendation must be ratified by Hamilton County commissioners and Cincinnati City Council.


And that is where, in bold, The Banks Working Group has Violated Ohio Revised Code 121.22 Meetings of Public Bodies to be public

The Banks Working Group had a majority of their members at on the trip to Atlanta and in Castellini’s private jet plane!!!

They violated (2)(C)

(2) "Meeting" means any prearranged discussion of the public business of the public body by a majority of its members.

(C) All meetings of any public body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times. A member of a public body shall be present in person at a meeting open to the public to be considered present or to vote at the meeting and for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at the meeting.


They violated (F)

They violated (G)(2) No Roll call vote for meeting was held

Their illegal meeting did not have any exemptions as in under (D)(1-10)

They violated what seems to be the whole darn thing!!!!

The Law is below... read it all yourself... it's been violated!


§ 121.22. Meetings of public bodies to be public; exceptions.

(A) This section shall be liberally construed to require public officials to take official action and to conduct all deliberations upon official business only in open meetings unless the subject matter is specifically excepted by law.

(B) As used in this section:

(1) "Public body" means any of the following:

(a) Any board, commission, committee, council, or similar decision-making body of a state agency, institution, or authority, and any legislative authority or board, commission, committee, council, agency, authority, or similar decision-making body of any county, township, municipal corporation, school district, or other political subdivision or local public institution;

(b) Any committee or subcommittee of a body described in division (B)(1)(a) of this section;

(2) "Meeting" means any prearranged discussion of the public business of the public body by a majority of its members.

(C) All meetings of any public body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times. A member of a public body shall be present in person at a meeting open to the public to be considered present or to vote at the meeting and for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at the meeting.
The minutes of a regular or special meeting of any public body shall be promptly prepared, filed, and maintained and shall be open to public inspection. The minutes need only reflect the general subject matter of discussions in executive sessions authorized under division (G) or (J) of this section.

(D) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) A grand jury;

(2) An audit conference conducted by the auditor of state or independent certified public accountants with officials of the public office that is the subject of the audit;

(3) The adult parole authority when its hearings are conducted at a correctional institution for the sole purpose of interviewing inmates to determine parole or pardon;

(4) The organized crime investigations commission established under section 177.01 of the Revised Code;

(5) Meetings of a child fatality review board established under section 307.621 [307.62.1] of the Revised Code and meetings conducted pursuant to sections 5153.171 [5153.17.1] to 5153.173 [5153.17.3] of the Revised Code;

(6) The state medical board when determining whether to suspend a certificate without a prior hearing pursuant to division (G) of either section 4730.25 or 4731.22 of the Revised Code;

(7) The board of nursing when determining whether to suspend a license or certificate without a prior hearing pursuant to division (B) of section 4723.281 [4723.28.1] of the Revised Code;

(8) The state board of pharmacy when determining whether to suspend a license without a prior hearing pursuant to division (D) of section 4729.16 of the Revised Code;

(9) The state chiropractic board when determining whether to suspend a license without a hearing pursuant to section 4734.37 of the Revised Code.

(10) The executive committee of the emergency response commission when determining whether to issue an enforcement order or request that a civil action, civil penalty action, or criminal action be brought to enforce Chapter 3750. of the Revised Code.

(F) Every public body, by rule, shall establish a reasonable method whereby any person may determine the time and place of all regularly scheduled meetings and the time, place, and purpose of all special meetings. A public body shall not hold a special meeting unless it gives at least twenty-four hours' advance notice to the news media that have requested notification, except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action. In the event of an emergency, the member or members calling the meeting shall notify the news media that have requested notification immediately of the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
The rule shall provide that any person, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, may obtain reasonable advance notification of all meetings at which any specific type of public business is to be discussed. Provisions for advance notification may include, but are not limited to, mailing the agenda of meetings to all subscribers on a mailing list or mailing notices in self-addressed, stamped envelopes provided by the person.

(G) Except as provided in division (J) of this section, the members of a public body may hold an executive session only after a majority of a quorum of the public body determines, by a roll call vote, to hold an executive session and only at a regular or special meeting for the sole purpose of the consideration of any of the following matters:

(1) To consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual, unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing. Except as otherwise provided by law, no public body shall hold an executive session for the discipline of an elected official for conduct related to the performance of the elected official's official duties or for the elected official's removal from office. If a public body holds an executive session pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, the motion and vote to hold that executive session shall state which one or more of the approved purposes listed in division (G)(1) of this section are the purposes for which the executive session is to be held, but need not include the name of any person to be considered at the meeting.

(2) To consider the purchase of property for public purposes, or for the sale of property at competitive bidding, if premature disclosure of information would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest is adverse to the general public interest. No member of a public body shall use division (G)(2) of this section as a subterfuge for providing covert information to prospective buyers or sellers. A purchase or sale of public property is void if the seller or buyer of the public property has received covert information from a member of a public body that has not been disclosed to the general public in sufficient time for other prospective buyers and sellers to prepare and submit offers.

If the minutes of the public body show that all meetings and deliberations of the public body have been conducted in compliance with this section, any instrument executed by the public body purporting to convey, lease, or otherwise dispose of any right, title, or interest in any public property shall be conclusively presumed to have been executed in compliance with this section insofar as title or other interest of any bona fide purchasers, lessees, or transferees of the property is concerned.

(3) Conferences with an attorney for the public body concerning disputes involving the public body that are the subject of pending or imminent court action;

(4) Preparing for, conducting, or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment;

(5) Matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or regulations or state statutes;

(6) Details relative to the security arrangements and emergency response protocols for a public body or a public office, if disclosure of the matters discussed could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the security of the public body or public office;

(7) In the case of a county hospital operated pursuant to Chapter 339. of the Revised Code, to consider trade secrets, as defined in section 1333.61 of the Revised Code.

If a public body holds an executive session to consider any of the matters listed in divisions (G)(2) to (7) of this section, the motion and vote to hold that executive session shall state which one or more of the approved matters listed in those divisions are to be considered at the executive session.

A public body specified in division (B)(1)(c) of this section shall not hold an executive session when meeting for the purposes specified in that division.

(H) A resolution, rule, or formal action of any kind is invalid unless adopted in an open meeting of the public body. A resolution, rule, or formal action adopted in an open meeting that results from deliberations in a meeting not open to the public is invalid unless the deliberations were for a purpose specifically authorized in division (G) or (J) of this section and conducted at an executive session held in compliance with this section. A resolution, rule, or formal action adopted in an open meeting is invalid if the public body that adopted the resolution, rule, or formal action violated division (F) of this section.

(I) (1) Any person may bring an action to enforce this section. An action under division (I)(1) of this section shall be brought within two years after the date of the alleged violation or threatened violation. Upon proof of a violation or threatened violation of this section in an action brought by any person, the court of common pleas shall issue an injunction to compel the members of the public body to comply with its provisions.

(2) (a) If the court of common pleas issues an injunction pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section, the court shall order the public body that it enjoins to pay a civil forfeiture of five hundred dollars to the party that sought the injunction and shall award to that party all court costs and, subject to reduction as described in division (I)(2) of this section, reasonable attorney's fees. The court, in its discretion, may reduce an award of attorney's fees to the party that sought the injunction or not award attorney's fees to that party if the court determines both of the following:

(i) That, based on the ordinary application of statutory law and case law as it existed at the time of violation or threatened violation that was the basis of the injunction, a well-informed public body reasonably would believe that the public body was not violating or threatening to violate this section;

(ii) That a well-informed public body reasonably would believe that the conduct or threatened conduct that was the basis of the injunction would serve the public policy that underlies the authority that is asserted as permitting that conduct or threatened conduct.

(b) If the court of common pleas does not issue an injunction pursuant to division

(I)(1) of this section and the court determines at that time that the bringing of the action was frivolous conduct, as defined in division (A) of section 2323.51 of the Revised Code, the court shall award to the public body all court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court.

(3) Irreparable harm and prejudice to the party that sought the injunction shall be conclusively and irrebuttably presumed upon proof of a violation or threatened violation of this section.

(4) A member of a public body who knowingly violates an injunction issued pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section may be removed from office by an action brought in the court of common pleas for that purpose by the prosecuting attorney or the attorney general.

To All:

The Open Meetings Law has been violated!!!!!! It's cut and dry. A meeting was held by the majority of the Banks Working Group with Heimlich and Mallory in tow and no public notice was given or no vote was given for approval of this meeting!!!!

If this is the case the Banks Working Group just may now be working illigally!!!! I know that the Enquirer had concerns about this and now it has come true.

I call for a full investigation into this and a court order to stop any furthur meetings by the Banks Working Group until the matter is resolved and shown to the public that no laws have been broken.

Sincerely,

Peter Deane
President Toast

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