Boynton trustee pleads guilty to Open Meeting Act violation

A Boynton trustee pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating the state Open Meeting Act when he voted to appoint a town manager at a Sept. 27 special meeting even though the item was not listed on the agenda.

Trustee Elmer Claiborne Lang received a suspended one-year sentence and a $500 fine, according to news reports.

Lang also forfeited his office effective Tuesday because the guilty plea led the revocation of his probation on a 2009 nepotism charge.

All three town trustees were charged earlier this month with violating the Open Meeting Act on Sept. 27. The OSBI also is investigating whether trustees violated the Open Meeting Act by prohibiting the recording of public meetings by audience members and by locking residents out of public meetings.

Violating the Open Meeting Act is a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $500. Also, any action taken in “willful violation” of the Open Meeting Act is “invalid.” (OKLA. STAT. tit. 25, § 313)

News coverage of Lang's guilty plea:

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.