Murfreesboro Council Accused of Violating Open Meetings Law

The Murfreesboro City Council has been accused of violating the state’s open meetings law by meeting in private executive session for legal advice on selling an electric utility, the Daily Journal News reports. The city manager, who previously served as city attorney, says the executive session was called “to talk about legal issues that could result in a lawsuit.” Tennessee Press Association attorney Rick Hollow says, “That’s not a legal controversy. Executive session is for lawsuits or threats of pending litigation.” Another legal expert says case law requires there to be an existing lawsuit or threat of litigation. But Lee Pope, the open records counsel for the state, said the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that controversial issues can be permissible reasons to seek attorney-client privileges in private.

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