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OM 17-13 Farley v. Newport Housing Authority and Newport Development Corporation No Violation

The Complainant alleged the Newport Housing Authority and the Newport Development Corporation ("Authority and Corporation") violated the OMA when it did not post notice for its July 14, 2016 meeting. We found no violation since the Complainant did not provide any evidence that a meeting in fact occurred on that date nor did the Complainant provide any evidence to contradict the Authority and Corporation's assertion that a meeting was not held in July. With respect to the Complainant's allegation that the June 9, 2016 meeting minutes were not posted on the Secretary of State's website, we concluded no violation. The Complainant alleged that the Authority and Corporation, as a quasi-public municipal entity, fell within the purview of R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-7(d). Rhode Island General Laws 42-46-7(d) states, in pertinent part, "[a]ll public bodies with the executive branch of the state government and all state public and quasi-public boards, agencies and corporations * * * shall file a copy of the minutes of all open meetings with the secretary of state for inspection * * * within thirty-five (35) days of the meeting . . .". (Emphases added). As we have noted on previous occasions, this particular provision does not apply to municipal entities. To conclude that municipal entities do not fall within the purview of R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-7(d), but that municipal quasi-public entities do fall within that purview would lead to an illogical result and contradict the plain language of the OMA. See Macomber v. Warren Town Council, OM 13-21.

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