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Attorney General Horne Finds Reasonable Cause to Believe Open Meeting Law Has Been Violated in Quartzsite

PHOENIX (Friday, July 29, 2011) – Tom Horne, Arizona Attorney General, today released partial information regarding the Attorney General’s Office investigation of events in Quartzsite.  Horne stated:

“Normally, we do not release the results of an investigation until it has been completed.  However, because this is a matter of unusual public interest, we are prepared to say that, based on review of a video of a July 10 meeting, there is reasonable cause to believe that there has been a violation of the Open Meeting Law, inasmuch as the public was excluded.  The meeting was held under the misconception that an emergency meeting can be conducted without the public present.  Independently of the question of whether the Town Council had a legitimate reason to hold an emergency meeting, even proper emergency meetings must allow the public to be present.  The exception is if there is a legitimate basis for an executive session, and the City Council did not attempt to hold a proper executive session during the emergency meeting.  The investigation of this and other alleged violations of Open Meeting Laws is ongoing.”