Our friends at the Tulsa World have an interesting story about the recent disciplining of the city manager in Bixby. Apparently, city council members weren’t happy with him raising questions about the council’s actions during the executive sessions of recent council meetings. The alleged violations also alarmed the city attorney, who sent council members a letter (PDF link) outlining his concerns:
In a letter following the April 27 executive session, (City Attorney Phil) Frazier warned the council about protocol for executive sessions and attached a copy of the state’s Open Meeting Act.
Frazier wrote that he had been “somewhat lax in letting the conversation in executive session go beyond the (designated) subject matter. I ask your understanding and patience as I become more concerned about wandering from the agenda items.”
Despite the open meetings violations alleged by both the city manager and city attorney in Bixby, Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris doesn’t plan to investigate, the World reported.
On the FOI-Oklahoma listserv, Oklahoma State University associate professor of journalism Joey Senat hoped Harris would reconsider:
How many times does the Open Meeting Act have to be explained to our elected officials before they will abide by it? I am asking our media members in the Tulsa area to raise this issue. Too many elected officials don’t take our open government laws seriously because they don’t fear prosecution for violations. But those prosecutions won’t happen unless we pressure DA’s to take these crimes seriously.
Written by Paul Monies