At the February 8, 2016 meeting of the Town Council, Assistant Town Attorney Bruce Jackson insisted that the Council was legally allowed to discuss the proposed lease of the Stratford Festival Theater in a closed-to-the-public executive session. The previous Town Council listened to similar advice back on May 11, 2015 and I filed a complaint with the Freedom of Information Commission asserting that the May 2015 executive session violated Connecticut’s open meeting law. Attorney Jackson’s law firm defended the Town in that appeal.
On January 27, 2016, the Commission ruled that I was correct (and Attorney Jackson was wrong). Attorney Jackson’s firm received a copy of that decision the week before the February 8, 2015 Council meeting. During that meeting, I pointed out that Town had lost cases on this very issue already after the Council Chair asked for a motion to have the Theater discussed in executive session. Fortunately, a majority of the Council voted to discuss the contract in public despite Jackson’s bad advice. You can read the full FOI decision here.
So it is another day and another loss for the Town of Stratford up at the Freedom of Information Commission. Makes you wonder why the Harkins administration is paying so much for all of these lawyers — and whether they’re wrong about other legal issues as well.