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OM 19-18 Dickinson and Murphy v. Jamestown Board of Canvassers Violation Found

Complainants alleged that the Jamestown Board of Canvassers ("Board") violated the OMA when it met outside the public purview to discuss suggesting that a certain entity attempt to "cure" signatures submitted in a petition drive. The Board conceded that a string of conversations between certain Board members constituted a "rolling quorum," but asserted that the Board did not discuss a matter over which it had authority. This Office found that the communications between the Board members collectively formed a rolling quorum of the Board, wherein the Board discussed a subject over which it had "supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power." R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-2(1). There was insufficient evidence that the Board willfully or knowingly violated the OMA. Additionally, injunctive relief was not appropriate, in part because the Board ultimately voted to not accept the cured signatures. VIOLATION FOUND.

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