District 308 Board Hears Report on Open Meetings Act Violations
Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis has laid out a plan of corrective measures after spring recording errors.
The board reported to Weis in April that it had neglected to tape record five closed session meetings held April 14, 16, 19, 20 and 21 to hire new district administrators. District attorney Karl Ottosen reported to the board Monday night that he and board president Bill Walsh recently had met with Weis to discuss the violations and a further course of action.
The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires public bodies to audiotape or videotape all closed meetings.
Ottosen revealed the April 14 meeting went unrecorded because a recorder was not at all present. At the second meeting, a digital recording card was not in the recorder, and at the remaining meetings board members believed the device was recording when in fact it was not.
“I made a mistake. I recognize that, and I take that seriously,” Walsh said Monday night. “We’ve taken the necessary steps to correct the mistakes.”
Ottosen said Weis laid out several recommendations to ensure the board did not violate OMA again. The number of steps Weis outlined was due in part to numerous violations of the District 308 board dating back many years, Ottosen said.
Contacted Tuesday, Weis said he would not comment on the matter until the issue was considered closed. At that time, a written opinion would be released, Weis said.
Ottosen said Weis is recommending the following corrective actions:
- Someone must be present at all board meetings who knows how to operate the recording device.
- All board members must read the Open Meetings Act and sign a form attesting to that.
- All board members must take an annual training provided by the Illinois Attorney General’s office. The board’s attorney must also provide an annual training approved by Weis.
- Weis also recommends that an attorney be present at all board meetings, Otteson said.
All board members have now completed the required annual training, according to Ottosen, and the matter should be closed in the coming weeks.
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