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PR 20-11 OM 20-11 Lamendola v. East Greenwich School Committee [APRA-OMA]

The Complainant alleged the School Committee violated the APRA when it improperly redacted certain information on an invoice for legal services. The undisputed evidence demonstrated that the School Committee provided Complainant with the unredacted invoice as he requested. As such, any request for injunctive relief is moot. Additionally, we were provided with no evidence that the School Committee's initial redaction, even assuming it was improper, would have constituted a willful and knowing, or reckless, violation. Accordingly, we declined to further address the merits of the Complainant's APRA allegation.

The Complainant also alleged that the School Committee violated the OMA at several meetings when an agenda item did not sufficiently specify the nature of the business to be discussed and when the School Committee failed to report certain executive session votes in open session. We declined to address the merits of the allegations concerning one meeting because the School Committee provided undisputed evidence that the 180-day statute of limitations expired before Complainant filed his complaint with this Office. See R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-8(b). For the other meetings, we found that the challenged agenda items did not violate the OMA. However, we concluded that the School Committee did not properly report out in open session a vote that occurred in the August 13, 2019 executive session. We did not find injunctive relief appropriate, nor did we find evidence of a willful or knowing violation. VIOLATION FOUND.

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