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OM 18-31 Spodnik v. West Warwick Town Council Violation

The Complainant alleged the West Warwick Town Council ("Town Council") violated the OMA when it discussed items at a meeting that were not noticed on the agenda. More specifically, the Complainant alleged that numerous topics were discussed under the agenda item entitled "Ward Reports." Based on this Department's review of the meeting's audio recording, we noted that a specific member of the Town Council spoke about, inter alia, two (2) specific properties in West Warwick, a vandalized vehicle and made comments about an individual, all under the topic of "Ward Reports." We found that the agenda item describing "Ward Reports" did not adequately inform the public of the business to be discussed by the Town Council. Accordingly, we found that the Town Council violated the OMA. See R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-6(b); Pontarelli v. Rhode Island Board Council on Elementary and Secondary Education et al., 151 A.3d 301 (R.I. 2016).

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