Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Spirit of the Law

Moore: Ethics panel nominees broke law
Knox County Commission Chairman Scott Moore alleged Tuesday that four commissioners nominated for the new Ethics Committee violated the Open Meetings Act by gathering in Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's office on Monday.

Participants countered that they merely waited in the office before walking together to a press conference announcing their nominations and did not discuss commission business.
Once again, the nominal leadership of our county shows its intelligence by alleging violations of the Sunshine Law - the very law the ethics committee will be investigating whether he and his cohorts broke in the first place.

Apparently no two commissioners can even speak to each other in passing without violation of the law. If they discussed the UT game last night, or maybe the Super Bowl on Sunday - is that illegal? Can two commissioners not even get together for lunch? And if they can, are they prohibited from discussing what color the carpet should be in the Meeting Rooms?

Next thing you know someone will be accused of violating the Sunshine Law by talking in his sleep. Lying in bed next to his wife, who is probably another commissioner the way things are working these days.

The purpose of the Open Meetings Act, or the "Sunshine Law":
The Open Meetings Act allows for "chance meetings" as long as there's no discussion of matters coming up for a vote.

[Ethics committee nominee and Commissioner Mark] Harmon said all the nominees did was greet one another and that "there was absolutely no deliberation whatsoever."
But that's not enough for people who like nothing more than being petty and vindictive. Knox Countians need to be on top of things like this....

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