Judge dismisses charges of open-meeting violations against city officials
FLORIDA — A county judge threw out charges in early August that five Palmetto officials violated the Sunshine Law’s reasonable notice provision when they changed the name of Martin Luther King Boulevard at a special meeting.
The judge said that an announcement made at 10:30 p.m. at one city council meeting was sufficient to reasonably notify the public that another meeting would be held within two days.
Notice of the special meeting to discuss renaming the city street was made after the city council’s only black member and all newspaper reporters had left the meeting.
No notice of the second meeting was posted at city hall and members of the media were not notified.
The Manatee County judge’s early August ruling dismissed charges against Mayor Gordon Dole and council members Jim Briggins, Shirley Bryant, Brian Williams and Pat Whitesel.
The city agreed to pay the officials’ legal bills.
(Florida v. Dole)