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OM 20-06 Benjamin v. South Kingstown School Committee No Violation

The Complainant alleged that the School Committee violated the OMA when it (1) convened into executive session to discuss candidates for the open superintendent position; (2) did not disclose votes taken in executive session; and (3) convened a rolling quorum about the superintendent position at a retreat. Based on the undisputed evidence, we found that the executive session permissibly fell with the ambit of R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-5(a)(1). We also concluded that the nondisclosure of the executive session votes was permissible under R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-4(b) because the School Committee presented evidence that disclosure of the votes would jeopardize future strategy and negotiation. Finally, because the uncontroverted affidavits indicated that no discussion occurred about the superintendent position during the School Committee retreat, we found that no "meeting" on this issue occurred during the retreat. See R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-2(1). We accordingly found no violations.

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