Mt. Sterling council scolds member as law suggests executive session not valid

From The Madison Press Mount Sterling’s village council voted to formally reprimand one of its members for a Facebook post during Monday’s meeting, but appears to have violated public meetings laws while doing so.In a formal resolution, council “admonished” member Diane Spradlin for her social media posts last month on the “Current Events in Mt. Sterling” Facebook group. The post was regarding her disagreements with proceedings during special meetings to decide on a health insurance plan for the village’s employees.

Monday’s council meeting opened with an executive session to discuss “personnel matters.” Immediately after council exited the executive session, Spradlin stomped out of the meeting.

She confirmed with The Press on Tuesday that the resolution was the topic of the executive session.

But according to the Ohio Revised Code, “A public body may not hold an executive session to consider the discipline of an elected official for conduct related to the performance of the official’s duties or to consider that person’s removal from office.”

Council also did not detail the purpose of the personnel discussion, another possible violation of the Ohio Revised Code. Council members refused to comment on the resolution when asked Monday night, with Mayor Lowell Anderson saying that the resolution explained itself.

“Most of us, and I for one, will not give any more comment on what is right here, and I think that’s the consensus of the council,” he said.

Spradlin told The Press on Tuesday she would not comment at length on the resolution, but that she planned to write a rebuttal soon.

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