TOPEKA – (December 10, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt last week executed a settlement with U.S.D. No. 376 Board of Education (Sterling) to resolve a violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA).
In April, the attorney general’s office received a complaint alleging that the Board violated the KOMA by improperly discussing matters in executive session that should have been discussed in its open public meeting. Upon investigation, the attorney general’s office determined that the Board violated the KOMA at two separate meetings by improperly recessing into executive session to discuss non-confidential data relating to financial affairs and a lease agreement with a local college. The Board’s motions to recess into executive session also failed to include the place where the open meeting would resume.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Board signed a consent order admitting that it violated the KOMA. The Board members have agreed to obtain training and provide written confirmation that each member has obtained the required training; the Board also agreed to not engage in any future violations of the KOMA. Additionally, the Board members were assessed a civil penalty of $100 each; one Board member who was not present at one of the meetings was assessed a civil penalty of $50.
A copy of the consent order, which was signed last week by the attorney general, is available at http://ag.ks.gov/open-govt/enforcement-actions. Information about the requirements of the KOMA and the KORA can be found at http://ag.ks.gov/open-govt.