Clipped From Lansing State Journal

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 - News and NRC settle suit over open meetings...
News and NRC settle suit over open meetings Associated Press The state Natural Resources Commission (NRC) agreed Monday Monday to abide by the state Open Meetings Act and to pay The Detroit Detroit News $1,000 to settle a lawsuit lawsuit filed by the News. The News charged in a suit filed April 11 that the NRC violated violated the Open Meetings Act by twice meeting in closed session, on April 4 and 9, to discuss the resignation of Department of Natural Natural Resources Director Ronald Skoog and how to go about replac- replac- ' inghim. , The suit which sought $500 in damages, attorney fees and a ruling ruling that the NRC violated the law, . claimed the commission illegally met behind closed doors with Gov. James Blanchard on April 4, the day after Skoog resigned. Blanchard wasn't involved in the . April 9 meeting. Blanchard's press secretary, Richard Cole, said Attorney General General Frank Kelley had told the governor's office that a meeting between the NRC and Blanchard would be exempt from the Open Meetings Act , In the settlement entered Monday Monday before Ingham County Circuit . Judge Jack Warren, the NRC said it would not contest the News' suit. It agreed a majority of its members members won't meet to deliberate toward a decision or to make a decision unless the meeting is open to the public or falls under specific exceptions outlined in the Open Meetings Act It also agreed a majority of its members won't meet in private to discuss Skoog's resignation, although although it can meet behind closed doors to discuss an employee's performance. The News agreed the settlement settlement won't restrict the right of the NRC to jneet with the gover-. gover-. gover-. nor in private session when the governor calls for the meeting, as long as the commission doesn't talk about making a decision. "We believe ... the (April 4) meeting should have been open," said Richard Rassel, attorney for the News. "Their (the NRCs) press release makes it very clear that they requested the meeting with the governor." Parliament in

Clipped from
  1. Lansing State Journal,
  2. 22 Apr 1986, Tue,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 9

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