The Kentucky Board of Education violated the state Open Meetings Law when it did not notify the public about a committee meeting to choose a search firm for the new commissioner, the Attorney General's office has ruled.
On April 1, the state board formally voted to establish a committee of three board members and three department officials to rate and choose a search firm to find a replacement for Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who announced his retirement earlier this year. By May, the committee had narrowed down the search to one firm.
Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, challenged the lack of publicly advertised and held meetings of the committee. Under the law, public agencies can conduct some business in closed session, but must advertise it, and must take any action in public session.
The board's counsel said the committee was not viewed as formal as it was convened for a single task.
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The Attorney General's office disagreed, saying the committee was a "public agency" under state law and was require to comply with the Open Meetings Act.