Tuesday, March 18, 2014
3-19-14 mayville open meetings law violation
The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that Mayville city officials did violate Wisconsin’s Open Meetings law during a closed door meeting discussing the closure of the Mayville Police Department. The complaint was filed last November alleging Mayor Jerry Moede and Alderpersons David Pasbrig and Kathleen Sertich violated the law during a July meeting with Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann, two of Ninmann’s staff members, and the Mayville Comptroller/Treasurer. Ninmann says she was approached by Mayville officials about the cost to have the sheriff’s office run the Mayville police department. After investigating, Jefferson County D.A. Susan Happ concludes a violation did occur, saying that the two requirements within state law were met that required the meeting to be preceeded by public notice and held in open session. Those two requirements being: 1.) the purpose of the meeting was to engage in government business and 2.) the number of members present be sufficient to determine the government’s body course of action. Ninmann says it would have been up to Mayville officials to properly notice the meeting. Happ further concludes however that the Mayville city officials did not knowingly violate the law because they were advised by legal counsel that the meeting was an extension of the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with the Mayville Police Department not subject to the open meetings law. Happ says the State does not plan on issuing charges at this time.