Attorney General's office denies Soseman complaint

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Assistant Attorney General Christopher Boggs of the Illinois Office of Attorney General ruled that the Mercer County Board did not violate the requirements of the Open Meetings Act during its May 13 special board meeting by reconsidering a vote taken earlier in the proceedings.

Boggs noted that the Open Meetings Act requires only that the agenda set forth the general subject matter on any final action to be taken. The agenda satisfies those requirements.

First Assistant Meeghan Lee commented, "A board obviously can make motions on any one item already properly placed on the agenda. This denied complaint borders on the frivolous and entailed a lot of unnecessary time spent by our office, the attorney for the Commission and the Attorney General's office.

On May 15, Jason Soseman submitted a request for review to the Public Access Bureau in which he appears to allege that the board violated the Open Meetings Act at its May 13 special meeting by failing to provide advance notice that the board would reconsider the approval of a resolution that had initially resulted in a tie vote earlier in the meeting.

At the request of the office of the Attorney General on June 6 the board furnished Soseman with copies of the meeting notice, agenda and minutes. The board also provided a written response confirming that the board,after its initial vote on the resolution resulted in a tie, subsequently reconsidered and approved the resolution during the same meeting.

On June 22 Soseman replied to the board's response by contesting the validity of the board's approval of the resolution and by alleging that several board members met privately during a recess in the meeting to formulate a compromise on the resolution by adding a jail financial policy.

On July 15 they board responded by asserting that only the board chairman, state's attorney and chairman of the public Building Commission discussed the resolution during the recess.