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AG: Ashfield violated Open Meeting Law

ASHFIELD — The Attorney General’s Office has determined that the Selectboard violated the state Open Meeting Law by failing to approve several sets of meetings minutes in a timely manner, omitting sufficient detail in another, and in either losing, failing to create or failing to approve a different set of minutes.

These findings were in response to complaints filed in July by residents Suzanne Corbett and Deborah Nicholson.

The AG’s office found fault with the minutes of an April 8, 2013, meeting, which described housing complaints raised by a resident, but did not name the Ashfield House as the subject of her complaints. Therefore, the attorney general has ordered the board to revise that set of minutes and re-approve them.

A set of minutes from Aug. 23, 2012, was either missing, had never been approved, or had never been created, so the board has been ordered to create and approve minutes for that meeting. The Selectboard must correct the Open Meeting Law violations within 30 days of the Feb. 10 determination. Assistant Attorney General Hanne Rush wrote that “future similar conduct may be considered evidence of intent to violate the law.”

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