KPA attorneys Jon Fleischaker and Michael Abate have sent a formal letter of complaint to the chair of the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents for violation of the Kentucky Open Meetings Law.
29 January 2019
Chair, EKU Board of Regents
521 Lancaster Avenue
CPO 12A, Coates Building
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
Re: Open Meetings Compliance
As you know from our time working together at Dinsmore, we represent the Kentucky Press Association. We write to lodge a formal complaint under KRS 61.846(1) concerning EKU’s ongoing failure to comply with Kentucky’s Open Meetings Law. Specifically, it has come to our attention that EKU’s Board of Regents does not disclose the specific time and location of its regular meetings—only the dates of the upcoming meetings.
This is a clear violation of the Open Meetings law. That statute requires that “[a]ll meetings of all public agencies of this state,” which includes meetings of the EKU Board of Regents, “shall be held at specified times and places . . ..” KRS 61.820(1) (emphasis added). The law further provides that “[a]ll public agencies shall provide for a schedule of regular meetings. . .” KRS 61.820(2).
By only identifying the dates of upcoming meetings but not their locations or times, the Board is violating the Act. We can think of no reason for the Board to take the half-measures that it has other than a deliberate attempt to make it harder for the public to attend its meetings. That is plainly contrary to the purpose (and letter) of the Act.
On behalf of the KPA and public we request that you remedy this situation by immediately publishing the specific times and places of your upcoming meetings, including on the Board of Regents website. If you persist in trying to hide the ball from the public, we will not hesitate to pursue this matter further with the Attorney General and/or in court.
We look forward to receiving your response to this letter within three business days.
Jon L. Fleischaker
Michael P. Abate
Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird LLP