Q&A: Executive session involving police officer

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From the South Bend Tribune:

Q: The board of safety for the city of Mishawaka plans to hold an executive session to hear testimony about the actions of a police officer. Can this be done behind closed doors?  

A: Yes. The Open Door Law at IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(6) allows a governing body to discuss behind closed doors allegations about misconduct. Unfortunately, they can even come to a consensus as to the level of punishment in that executive session.

But the final action (a vote on the disciplinary action) must take place at an open meeting.

If the discipline reaches the level of termination, demotion or suspension, citizens have the right to inspect and/or copy records from the officer’s personnel file that outline the discipline taken and the factual basis for the discipline.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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