Tuesday, April 24, 2012

East Hampton Board of Education holds potentially illegal executive session

The East Hampton Board of Education on Monday held a meeting and listed an executive session "to discuss a personnel matter" on its agenda. When board members came out of the executive session, they voted "to accept the recommendation made in executive session."

A quick call to the Freedom of Information Commission in Hartford confirms that public agencies must be a tad bit more specific about their executive sessions. Boards must specify what type of employee is going to be discussed under "personnel matter." However, they are not required to identify such employee by name (but they must notify this employee that he or she will be talked about in executive session, and said employee can choose to have the meeting in public instead).

When voting on matters discussed in executive session, which must be done in public, the board must specify exactly what it is voting on (but again, they do not need to specifically identify an employee by name) and this vote must be recorded in the official minutes from the meeting.

The Middletown Press has requested - in writing - that the topic of the executive session and details of the vote be made public within four days. If not, the Press will file a formal complaint with the FOI Commission so it can determine whether this was an illegal executive session, which we believe it was. We will keep you updated on what happens.



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