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OM 16-14 and PR 16-51 Clark v. West Greenwich Fire District Violation

Complainant alleged that the WGFD violated the OMA and the APRA when it: (1) untimely posted its annual notice after its first meeting; (2) untimely posted notice of its annual meeting; (3) failed to include the open call requirements set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-4(a) in its open session minutes for its February 4, 2014 meeting; and (4) responded to various APRA requests without having the responding person certified pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-3.16. Because Complainant had not alleged, nor could we find any evidence supporting, that he was aggrieved pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-8(a) and the standard established in Graziano v. Rhode Island Lottery Commission, 810 A.2d 215 (R.I. 2002), we found that he lacked standing to bring his first two allegations. However, we found that the WGFD did violate the OMA when it failed to include in the February 4, 2014 unofficial minutes, the subsection under which it convened into executive session as required by R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-4(a). We found no evidence of a willful or knowing violation in light of the fact that this omission was corrected in the February 4, 2014 official minutes. We also found that Complainant lacked standing to bring his APRA allegations because there was no evidence that the Complainant had made the APRA requests at issue. See Clark v. Town of Glocester / Clark v Glocester Police Department, PR 16-12. VIOLATION FOUND.

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