Ohio court rules against board in closed meetings

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge has ruled that the Columbus school board can’t legally close its meetings to the public simply by having an attorney in the room and claiming attorney-client privilege.

The Columbus Dispatch had challenged the claim, saying the board was circumventing Ohio’s open meetings laws as members discussed an ongoing attendance data scrubbing scandal.

The newspaper reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/133HN5F) that Franklin County judge Julie Lynch upheld a magistrate’s February ruling that the board must stop such meetings.

The newspaper reports that the school board used the tactic to close seven meetings last year.

The district declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

The case is set for trial in the fall, as the newspaper seeks a permanent injunction stopping such meetings and payment of its attorney fees.

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