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AG wins open meetings case against City of Cumming


August 27, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — On Aug. 21, 2014, Judge Robert Adamson ruled in favor of Attorney General Sam Olens in a lawsuit filed in June 2012 against the City of Cumming and Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt for violations of the Open Meetings Act.

Judge Adamson ordered the defendants to pay $12,000 in penalties, the highest amount possible under the law. Defendants have also been ordered to pay attorney's fees in an amount to be determined at a later hearing.

"This ruling is a major victory for government transparency," said Olens. "Georgians deserve a government that operates openly and honestly. The essence of our democracy is that elected officials are held accountable to the citizens and that citizens are allowed to exercise their rights granted by the First Amendment."

At a Cumming City Council meeting on April 17, 2012, Gravitt demanded that citizen Nydia Tisdale cease filming the meeting and subsequently ordered her to leave the meeting.

Tisdale returned to the meeting with another hand held camera and was again told to stop recording the meeting.

Georgia's Open Meetings Act expressly provides that visual and sound recording during open meetings shall be permitted.

"My office takes very seriously our responsibility to enforce the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts. The actions by the mayor in this circumstance were egregious, and it is essential that he be held responsible for his actions."

Read the Ruling

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Republican Good Ol' Boy
    August 28, 2014 | 11:35 AM

    When you continue to vote in Republican Good Ol' boys you will continue to encounter the system of corruption they bring with their good ol' Christian "values"... Too bad the fine was not 100x that amount. That's what he deserved. That and being removed from office at once. Still waiting for his APOLOGY for breaking the LAW.

    Dave
    Cumming
  2. report print email
    Yawn
    August 29, 2014 | 08:08 PM

    Your liberal drivel bores us all Dave.

    Lloyd
    Cumming
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