TOPEKA – (January 20, 2016) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced a settlement with the City of Liebenthal to resolve violations of the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) and the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA).
The attorney general's office originally received complaints by an individual against the City of Liebenthal and its city council in late 2013. The allegations involved failure to comply with both the KOMA and the KORA. Upon investigation, the attorney general’s office determined that the city council violated the KOMA on three occasions by failing to comply with procedural requirements for entering into executive session and by using executive sessions for subject matter not recognized by law. It also was determined that the city and the city council violated the KORA by failing to comply with its procedural requirements.
During the investigation, the city council expressed willingness to receive training on both the KOMA and the KORA. Because of this willingness, and because the city and city council had attempted to comply with the law, the attorney general’s office determined to seek voluntary compliance through a consent agreement and did not seek to impose civil penalties. The consent agreement addressed the pattern of mistakes with respect to the KOMA, as well as the failure to comply with the procedural aspects of the KORA. The city and the city council entered into a consent agreement and promptly complied with all of its terms. The attorney general's office last week received confirmation that all requirements of the consent agreement, including training, have been completed.
A copy of the Consent Agreement is available at http://1.usa.gov/1KrysIW. Information about requirements of the KOMA and the KORA can be found at http://ag.ks.gov/legal-services/open-govt .