On May 19th, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin sent police to a Kentucky Retirement Systems board meeting to prevent the board chairman – whom Bevin wants off the board – from participating in the meeting.
The state’s attorney general on Tuesday released an opinion stating Bevin violated Kentucky’s Open Meetings law in the process.
More from the Herald-Leader:
Bevin sent police with his chief of staff, Blake Brickman, and Personnel Secretary Thomas Stephens to threaten to arrest Thomas K. Elliott, whom Bevin has been trying to remove from the board, and to interfere with board leadership elections scheduled for that day, [state AG] Beshear said. Several armed troopers stood in the KRS board room during the day’s meeting.
Public agencies must be allowed to conduct open meetings free from harassment, Beshear said in his opinion.
“A behind-closed-door indication of arrest if a board member attempts to participate, or of an investigation of a board member who potentially may seek election as chair, made with the intent to alter decisions or behavior related to a public meeting for public business, violates the mandate that public business not be conducted in secret,” Beshear said.
“Moreover, the presence of multiple law enforcement officers, who can effectuate an arrest, at the request of someone other than the agency head or a quorum of the board, equates to conducting public business through force. Neither scenario has a place in a democratic government that must be open,” he said.