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C-Falls school board violated Ohio Sunshine Law

By John Published: April 20, 2010

UPDATE: Here' s my story in today's Akron Beacon Journal.

The Cuyahoga Falls School Board repeatedly and knowingly violated Ohio public meetings laws  between 2006 and 2009  according to a Summit County Common Pleas Court magistrate's ruling  in reponse to a lawsuit brought by former school board member Kellie Patterson. Read the decision  here and a press release from Patterson's attorney here. Here's a quotation from the ruling:

The clear and convincing evidence also compels a finding that the Board was a well-informed, public body and should have reasonably known and been on actual and constructive notice that its actions, as complained of by Plaintiff and as described above, were in direct violation of Ohio's Sunshine Law (i.e., R.C. 121.22), and that such actions of the Board were done with full knowledge that such were in direct violation of the public policy that the Sunshine Law was designed to protect.

I emailed the board president, Therese Dunphy for a response:
This is the complete text of her email reply:
John,

The magistrate has issued a recommendation in the matter. It is my understanding that, by law, the recommendation will go to Judge Rowlands for a decision. Our attorney has requested a copy of the court transcript and will file an objection to the magistrate's recommendation.

In the meantime, the board has always welcomed public involvement and transparency. We will continue to conduct our business, in accordance with Ohio's open meetings law.

Therese Dunphy
Board President
Cuyahoga Falls Board of Education

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