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No Open Meetings Law violation seen in Worcester

June 9, 2013

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The state attorney general’s office says the Worcester City Council did not violate the Open Meeting Law when it took up an item on panhandling at a June 2012 meeting.

The Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/11OznLs ) that members of Worcester Sunshine Week who filed the complaint say the decision is an important marker for government transparency.

The complaint accused the City Council of discussing panhandling at its June 26, 2012, meeting that was reasonably anticipated 48 hours before the meeting, but was not on the agenda.

Jonathan Sclarsic, assistant attorney general, says a public body is required to post notice of meetings at least 48 hours in advance, excluding weekends and holidays. He says Mayor Joseph Petty did not anticipate introducing the panhandling order until the weekend before the meeting.

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