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OM 14-07 Guarino, et al. v. Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission – Violations found

The Complainants alleged the Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission ("RIAEC) violated the Open Meetings Act ("OMA") on numerous occasions. After review of all allegations, this Department found the RIAEC violated the OMA when it 1) held its December 10, 2012 meeting on less than 48 hours notice and discussed a topic that was not appropriate for executive session; 2) discussed a topic not proper for executive session on January 2, 2013 and failed to disclose in open session (and record in the open session minutes) the votes taken by each individual member in executive session; 3) failed to hold interviews in open session; 4) engaged in a collective discussion via an email chain beginning December 19, 2012 and ending on December 21, 2012; and 5) failed to post notice of its search committee meeting prior to conducting the March 1, 2013 meeting. While this Department concluded that there were no willful or knowing violations, this Department required that the RIAEC release the executive session minutes for the January 2, 2013 meeting, as well as the vote taken, by individual member, during this executive session. While the topic of the December 10, 2012 executive session was not appropriate, the evidence presented demonstrated that no executive session minutes were kept and thus, none can be released; regardless, it appears RIAEC took no action during this meeting. This Department also required the RIAEC to release the email chain beginning on December 19, 2012 and ending on December 21, 2012. Because no action was taken during the interview process or at the March 1, 2013 search committee meeting or from the email chain, injunctive relief was not appropriate in those instances.

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