From The Columbus Dispatch The Ohio Supreme Court is being asked to overturn lower-court ruling holding that Olentangy school board members did not violate open-meetings laws while exchanging emails underlying an eventual decision.
Board member Adam White filed the appeal last week in the case he brought against his four fellow school board members in the Delaware County district alleging that they illegally “ deliberated” via email.
The Ohio Coalition for Open Government, Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio yesterday filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief supporting White’s appeal.
Allowing the prior decisions to stand “sets a dangerous precedent which allows all public agencies in the state to avoid the Sunshine Law simply by deliberating electronically, rather than in person,” White argued in his filing.
The case centers on the four school board members — White was excluded — writing each other to authorize a letter to the editor ofThe Dispatch in response to an editorial criticizing a new board policy White viewed as aimed at him.
After White’s investigation uncovered misspending by two high school athletic directors, the board passed a policy requiring its members to communicate with employees only through the superintendent or treasurer.