Angelo, 040819 RIAGO, AGO OM 19-2

Docket Nº:AGO OM 19-2
Case Date:April 08, 2019
Court:Rhode Island
Mr. James Angelo
AGO OM 19-2
No. OM 19-02
Rhode Island Attorney General Opinion
State of Rhode Island And Providence Plantations
April 8, 2019
         Mr. James Angelo          William Conley, Esq.          Town of Westerly          RE: Angelo v. Town of Westerly          Dear Mr. Angelo and Mr. Conley:          The investigation into the Open Meetings Act ("OMA") Complaint filed by Mr. James Angelo ("Mr. Angelo" or "Complainant") against the Town of Westerly ("Town") is complete. For the reasons set forth herein, we find that the Town did not violate the OMA.          The initial Complaint referenced an April 9, 2018 meeting of the Town Council and raised various allegations pertaining to the Town's sale of property located at 11 Rock Ridge Road. Several times, this Office asked the Complainant to identify the specific meetings or actions of the Town that he alleged violated the OMA. Over the course of several communications with this Office the Complainant submitted various documents and contended that he had presented "circumstantial" evidence that the Town violated the OMA over an extended period of time beginning in 2017 by holding closed session meetings. The Complainant did not identify any specific meetings or actions that he alleged violated the OMA, besides the initial reference to the April 9,2018 meeting.          After having attempted to obtain additional specificity about the allegations, this Office also sent both the Complainant and the Town acknowledgment letters describing the Complaint as alleging that the Town violated the OMA during its April 9, 2018 meeting when it convened in executive session to discuss what the Complainant claimed was an improper sale of Town property at a tax sale.[1] The acknowledgment letter expressly provided the Complainant an additional opportunity to dispute the characterization of the Complaint. We received no objection. Accordingly, the sole issue properly before this Office is whether the Town Council improperly convened into executive session to discuss the sale of Town property during its April 9, 2018 meeting.          The...

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