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Saturday, October 07, 2017

Open records and meetings
The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that arms of local government are subject to the state's Sunshine and Open Records laws, and must be open to the public. In 2013, a group of Jefferson County residents, including Oliver Wood, filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County Chancery Court naming the Jefferson County Economic Development Oversight Committee (EDOC) as defendant. The Committee was established by the county, Jefferson City and Dandridge, to promote development in the county. Testimony of various public officials established that the EDOC played a significant role in promoting a planned megasite development, which was described as one of the most important economic decisions ever made by the county, and which involved a large expenditure of public funds. The group of property owners sought to gain access to the records and meetings of the Committee, but were denied. As a result of the subsequent lawsuit, Senior Judge Don Ash held that the EDOC was not a governmental entity and was not subject to the Sunshine and Public Records laws. Now the high court has reversed that ruling. “We find and hold that the undisputed facts establish that EDOC performs a governmental function, recieves a substantial amount of taxpayer funding, and is significantly involved with and regulated by the governing city and county legislative bodies. In light of our duty to broadly construe and interpret the Public Records and Open Meetings Acts in favor of governmental transparency and accountability, we hold that the EDOC is subject to these acts," says the Supreme Court. The case has been remanded to Judge Ash for further proceedings.


Return to Today's News Stories - Front Page

Saturday, August 18, 2018

  • Farm Service Agency meet
  • SBA loans available
  • Social Security and livability
  • Jefferson County crash
  • Dover arrest

    Friday, August 17, 2018

  • Moore arrested in threat on Caldwell
  • Bush Brothers fined
  • Cocke County Partnership meet
  • Clint Hammonds
  • Newport/Parrottsville candidates
  • July unemployment
  • Dover arrest

    Thursday, August 16, 2018

  • Speir arrest
  • Cardboard fire
  • Cocke County School Board meet
  • Jefferson City train/car crash

    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

  • Cocke Grand Jury indictments
  • Newport City Council
  • Millington drug bust
  • Friends fundraiser

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

  • Nolichucky and Pigeon fish advisories
  • Finance committee lacks quorum
  • Infant death is investigated
  • Cocke inmate assaults
  • Highway 160 yard sale re-scheduled
  • TVA and renewable energy
  •    

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