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OM15-15 Costantino v. Warwick School Department Violation and The Warwick Beacon v. Warwick School Committee

The Complainants alleged the School Committee violated the OMA during its April 14, 2015 executive session meeting when it failed to disclose an executive session vote in open session, improperly conducted business in executive session and during its June 8, 2015 meeting, the School Committee voted on a school consolidation plan, yet the agenda listed that item as being for "discussion purposes" only. Based upon this Department's in camera review of the April 14, 2015 executive session minutes, we are satisfied that the School Committee convened into executive session for reasons that were exempt under sections (a)(1), (a)(2) and (a)(4). We also agree with the School Committee that disclosing the executive session vote would have jeopardized a strategy, negotiation or investigation undertaken. The School Committee did disclose the vote in public at its July 14, 2015 meeting. The School Committee violated the OMA during its June 8, 2015 meeting when it voted on a school consolidation plan, yet the agenda listed that item as being for "discussion purposes" only.

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