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C-Falls appeals ruling in sunshine case

By John Published: August 26, 2010

Former Falls school board member Kellie Patterson's legal saga to hold the board accountable to Ohio's open records laws continues. 

To recap:

      A magistrate  ruled in April  that the Cuyahoga Falls school board repeatedly violated Ohio public meetings laws and must pay attorney fees and $500 to former school board member Kellie Patterson. 
       Patterson sued in Summit County Common Pleas Court  two years ago to force the board to comply with Ohio's public records and open meetings law, often referred to as the ''Sunshine Law.'' 
      Magistrate John Shoemaker identified ''at least eight'' violations of Ohio's open meetings law between 2006 and 2009.  Many of the violations discussed in Shoemaker's decision concern the board's discussion of matters behind closed doors that should have been discussed publicly. Decision linked in this First Bell post from April.
       Then on July 27:  Summit County Mary Margaret Rowlands adopted Shoemaker's decision as her own, ruling that Shoemaker correctly determined the factual issues and appropriately applied the law.  Fast forward to Aug. 23 when the school board voted to file an appeal, which its attorney did with the 9th District Court of Appeals on Aug. 24.

Patterson was elected in 2005, but she did not win enough votes for re-election in 2009.    

More to come. Next hearing in Summit County Common Pleas Court is Sept. 21. Patterson's attorney, David Worhatch,  is asking the 9th District  to dismiss the appeal because it's premature.

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