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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

LEGAL, Welch before ARDC again [D88]

District 88 board member Antonette “Toni” Dorris has contacted the U.S Attorney’s office about what she feels is a violation of the Open Meetings Act (pdf). Emanuel Christopher Welch is the attorney for District 88 who blessed the conduct Dorris is questioning.

Dorris cc’d a number of people including the Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission (ARDC) and the State’s Attorney’s office. Apparently the State’s Attorney has already prosecuted District 88 this year for violating the Open Meetings Act. The result of that case was a consent decree that all board members signed saying they’d play by the rules.

On October 17, 2005 District 88 held a meeting. Dorris complains that the public notice said the meeting was to “adopt and approve [the] district’s annual budget”. Board member Ronald Anderson, a Welch buddy, requested two additional items be put on the agenda, including firing James K. Graham, a Yarbrough ally.

Dorris and two other board members questioned the legality of this, since the Open Meetings Act requires the purpose of the meeting be posted in advance. Welch responded, “In my opinion, this board can continue with this meeting and I see no violation being committed since the agenda was also posted.”


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