Fourth District Appellate Court determines Bloomington City Council violated Open Meetings Act

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The Fourth District Appellate Court in Springfield ruled The Bloomington City Council violated the Open Meetings Act in 2017.

According to appellate court documents, Bloomington city Council made the violation when they gathered behind closed doors and privately discussed information not having to do with probable or imminent litigation.

In Feb. 2017, Bloomington City Council entered a closed session to discuss topics related to the termination of Bloomington’s intergovernmental agreement with the Town of Normal.

The meeting focused more on public relations and the economic effects the termination of the agreement would cause. The counsel did discuss the possibility of litigation between the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington, but there was no suit filed at the time of the meeting.

The Court voted unanimously to reverse a circuit court’s judgment which reversed Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s binding opinion. The Court decided Raoul correctly determined the city council exceeded the scope of the litigation exception to the act.

That exception is applied if council members were only discussing “probable or imminent litigation.” The court determined the discussion included much more than the exception allows for.

More information is available on the Illinois Court’s website.

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