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Attorney General Open Meeting Law Opinion

(Phoenix, Ariz. - Dec. 24, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard today released a legal Opinion making clear that the Open Meeting Law does not prohibit a member of a public body from speaking to the media concerning matters that may be considered by that body in the future.

Representatives David Lujan and Steve Gallardo requested the Opinion to clarify whether comments to the media would violate the Open Meeting Law (OML) if a quorum of the public body reads or hears those comments.

"Media reports about the work of public bodies supports the interest of open government, which is the same purpose that the OML serves," Goddard said in the Opinion. "Unlike e-mails to a quorum of members, a message communicated to the media reaches other members of a public body indirectly, if at all. In addition, when the media disseminates the information, it is open to and intended for the public."

The Opinion concludes that the Open Meeting Law does not prohibit a member of a public body from speaking to the media regarding matters that may come before the public body.

A copy of the Opinion can be found here.