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OM 18-24 / PR 18-27 Clifford v. North Smithfield Municipal Building Review Task Force Violation

The Complainant alleged that the MBRTF violated the APRA by withholding a responsive document and violated the OMA by improperly discussing items during executive sessions, insufficiently specifying the litigation discussed on meeting agendas, and failing to timely submit meeting minutes to the Town Clerk. With respect to the APRA allegation, we found no violation. We noted that the requested document was not maintained by the MBRTF and, in any event, that the requested document no longer existed at the time of the APRA request. With respect to the first OMA allegation, based on our in camera review we found all six contested discussions appropriate for executive session. See R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-5(a)(2), (3). With respect to the second OMA allegation, we found that two of the seven meeting agendas in question insufficiently identified the number of litigation matters discussed in executive session. However, we did not find a willful or knowing violation. With respect to the third OMA allegation, we found that the Complainant had not adequately articulated that he was "aggrieved" by the alleged violations. R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-8(a). The Complainant failed to identify how the allegedly late filed minutes aggrieved him during the period for which they were unavailable. Accordingly, we found that the Complainant had no standing to bring these allegations.

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