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OM 17-02 (Novak v. Western Coventry Fire District) - Violation

The Fire District violated the OMA when it untimely filed a number of its unofficial and official and/or approved minutes on the Secretary of State's website for a number of its Board of Directors and Standard Administrative Procedures meetings. See R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-7(b)(2) and (d). While its failure to do so violated the OMA, we did not find a willful or knowing violation, considering the totality of the circumstances. One of the considerations was that, unlike other public bodies who may extend the time to file their unofficial minutes, a fire district may not extend the timeframe for filing its unofficial minutes. See R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-7(b)(2).

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