Robert A. Bertsche Convinces Easthampton City Council to Postpone Private Discussion About Controversial Behavior of Elected Official April 5, 2012
A letter from Prince Lobel Media Law Partner
Rob Bertsche, sent on behalf of firm client the Daily Hampshire Gazette, challenged the Easthampton City Council’s
plan to meet in executive session to discuss the behavior of an at-large councilor. Rob argued that the closed-door meeting “violated the language and
spirit of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.” He urged the council to cancel
the executive session and instead hold the discussion in open session.
The Council’s original plan to meet in
private was based on certain provisions in the state’s Open Meeting Law, although Rob’s letter notes that any privacy
matters at stake would have to “trump the public interest in open debate.” He
adds that the allegations surrounding this councilor have “been the topic of
extensive public discussion and debate.” The council is seeking a written
opinion from its city solicitor before asking for a vote on whether or not to
hold an executive session.
Click these links to read the complete articles and more of Rob’s advice as published in
the Gazette, and The Republican.