Robert A. Bertsche Convinces Easthampton City Council to Postpone Private Discussion About Controversial Behavior of Elected Official

A letter from Prince Lobel Media Law Partner Rob Bertsche, sent on behalf of firm client the Daily Hampshire Gazette, challenged the Easthampton City Council’s plan to meet in executive session to discuss the behavior of an at-large councilor. Rob argued that the closed-door meeting “violated the language and spirit of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.” He urged the council to cancel the executive session and instead hold the discussion in open session.

The Council’s original plan to meet in private was based on certain provisions in the state’s Open Meeting Law,  although Rob’s letter notes that any privacy matters at stake would have to “trump the public interest in open debate.” He adds that the allegations surrounding this councilor have “been the topic of extensive public discussion and debate.” The council is seeking a written opinion from its city solicitor before asking for a vote on whether or not to hold an executive session.

Click these links to read the complete articles and more of Rob’s advice as published in the Gazette, and The Republican.