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Wyoming high court sides with newspaper in open meetings suit

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Wyoming Supreme Court sided with the Wyoming Tribune Eagle last week in a lawsuit over whether a building code…

The Wyoming Supreme Court sided with the Wyoming Tribune Eagle last week in a lawsuit over whether a building code appeals board improperly held a secret meeting  to decide whether to issue demolition permits for six historic homes, The Associated Press reported.

Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc., the parent company of the Eagle, sued the Cheyenne Building Code Board of Appeals in 2008 asking the court to block the board from making a decision before public deliberations on the matter was open to public debate. The board voted against issuing the permits before the case was heard and the newspaper then asked the court to invalidate the board’s decision.

In Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc. v. Building Code Board of Appeals, Wyoming’s high court said that while the deliberations were improperly held, the actual vote to deny the permits will stand because it took place during an open session.

"[T]he Board ultimately took action and adopted its findings and conclusions in a public meeting and no provision of the Act renders void agency action taken in public that may have been discussed and/or acted upon in an illegal private meeting," wrote Justice Marilyn Kite in a concurring opinion.