Q&A: Executive session minutes denied

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From The Herald-Press (Huntington):

Q: We’re interested in reading the minutes from executive sessions. What we are seeing doesn’t include any detail.

Do we have a right to get that information? 

A: The Open Door Law compels governing bodies to keep a memoranda of the meeting, but the requirements are only for these items:

• A list of which members were present and absent

• When the meeting was conducted and what statutory subject matters were discussed (This should match the notice of the executive session.)

• A statement that no other subject matter was discussed in the closed meeting.

You don’t have a right to detailed notes on the executive session discussion.

From a policy standpoint, it makes sense that if the meeting is confidential the notes outlining the discussion could also be kept confidential.

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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