AG: ISU meeting wasn’t illegal

From the AP/Idaho State Journal

Idaho State University did not violate the state’s open meeting law when a parking advisory board met behind closed doors in May, the Idaho Attorney General’s office says.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Assistant Chief Deputy Brian Kane wrote that the advisory board was created internally by the school and not by Idaho statute.

Kane said that means the board is not a public agency under the Idaho Open Meeting Act and for that reason didn’t violate the law. The letter was obtained by the Idaho State Journal.

But Kane also writes that the parking advisory board should “voluntarily balance the necessity of holding a closed meeting with the cleansing effect of holding an open meeting and act accordingly.”

Kane notes that his letter is informal and unofficial because the complaint about the meeting was filed after a 30-day deadline. Kane said he responded because of the importance of the issue.

Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne Hoffman requested the opinion after the advisory board denied admittance to reporters. At the meeting, faculty members discussed proposed changes to the school’s parking policy.

“I’m still dumbfounded as to why a university believes this sort of discussion needs to take place behind closed doors,” Hoffman said. “I don’t think anyone can make a sane argument why the parking board needs to meet privately.”

Idaho State spokesman Mark Levine declined to comment on future meetings.

From the AP/Idaho State Journal

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