The members of this constitutionally-impaired cabal should be ashamed of themselves. As should Law Director Michael Lograsso for allowing them to waste taxpayer time and money on a resolution that attempts to chill transparency and public disclosure.
South Euclid Council President David Miller -- with the support of four colleagues -- has censured council members Ed Icove and Ruth Gray for supposedly "violating the rules of this Council and Robert's Rules of Order for disclosing the confidential discussions held by this body in the executive session on November 24, 2014 to individuals outside the council membership."
Juicy details about pending litigation? Insider info on property acquisition that could benefit a real estate developer?
Nothing so nefarious.
The news concerned the hiring of South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo's son Miles Welo by Cleveland law firm Mansour, Gavin, Gerlack & Manos, which does work for South Euclid.
It was announced in executive session as part of a larger discussion of ongoing civil litigation, Mansour, Gavin attorney Tony Coyne said for this editorial.
"I didn't think it was a big deal," Coyne added.
Miller did. "Since it was mentioned in executive session, it was privileged information," he argued. Miller added that Lograsso agreed with him. Lograsso did not return a call for comment.
Icove was accused in the resolution of leaking the matter to the media.
Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter Sara Dorn has denied in print that Icove was her source. Dorn has not identified who provided the information.
Gray brought up the Miles Welo hiring during a December City Council meeting.
Icove and Gray have unsuccessfully requested an apology.
"Anything discussed in executive session stays in executive session," insists Mayor Welo. "You cannot break the code."
The public's business should be conducted in public, not in executive sessions -- apart from the well-defined exceptions provided under Ohio law. Closed-door policy-making promotes an opaque culture that thrives on secrecy rather than oversight.
The public's right to know includes knowing when the son of a mayor is hired by a law firm that does business with the city.