No Ruling Yet in Open Meetings Case

An order is still pending in the case alleging that Sheridan County School District 2 violated Wyoming's open meetings law.

Judge William J. Edelman heard arguments in late June from attorneys representing the school district and the Sheridan newspaper that brought the allegations.

A clerk in the judge's office said he is working on his decision but that he had been on a bench trial for two days.

The case was brought by management of the Sheridan newspaper, who maintain that school district trustees violated Wyoming's open meetings laws by conducting closed sessions to discuss a facility under consideration by trustees. The case filed in civil court alleged that district representatives have met with special interest groups regarding a “large multipurpose facility,” and they have discussed the project in closed sessions, contrary to the open meetings laws, but that no public meetings have been held.

District administration has said discussions in closed session fall under the real estate exemption allowed by the law. The school district's attorney, Kendal Hoopes, told Judge Edelman that district trustees in fact did consider plans for the facility in open meetings in 2013. He said the project was discussed “extensively” in open sessions that year, and that a public hearing was also held on the matter.

He told the judge that the district has not named the facility as “multipurpose,” but said there are different options regarding both the use and the location of a future structure. He said no decisions have been made, and no action took place in any of the trustees' closed sessions. He told the judge that there is no project moving forward.

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