published Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Chattanooga attorney to teach classes on Sunshine Law


by Cliff Hightower
City Attorney Mike McMahan
City Attorney Mike McMahan
Photo by Angela Lewis.
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The city attorney's office will start giving quarterly classes on the Sunshine Law to city appointed boards.

The decision came after Councilwoman Pam Ladd alerted the rest of the council that some city boards were violating the law.

"They either don't know or don't care," Ladd said.

The comments came while the council was talking about if city board appointees should be city residents or property owners within the city. The council decided to make no changes, allowing members of city boards to live anywhere.

Ladd said she found out a few weeks ago that any board that received 30 percent or more in city funding had to abide by the Sunshine Law, which is state law requiring elected officials to govern in public.

She said she had a confidential conversation with a board member two weeks ago and heard about some of the violations. Ladd said she immediately told the person that the board was violating Sunshine Law.

Ladd would not disclose which board had the problems.

Councilwoman Deborah Scott said there should be city attorney training for all boards.

City Attorney Mike McMahan told council members he would have no qualms with conducting quarterly training.

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