Q&A: Locked doors at board meeting

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From the Chronicle-Tribune (Marion):

Q: A local board locks the doors of the county building it uses in the evening for meetings when the meeting starts. Does that violate the Open Door Law? They say they have to lock the doors to keep people from roaming the halls because they can’t supply security for the building. 

A: Locking the doors would prevent the public from attending the meeting unless they arrive early. This clearly violates the Open Door Law. The board needs to either move to another location where officials won’t feel compelled to lock the doors or come up with a security plan that allows the public to attend the meeting whether they arrive on time or not.

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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