Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says the Murray State Board of Regents violated Kentucky’s open meetings law when a quorum of the board attended a social gathering at the home of Regent Sharon Green on March 14.
Lexington Attorney Jim Deckard sought the opinion after board Chairman Constantine Curris, through an attorney, denied allegations of an illegal meeting.
In a response to Deckard’s initial complaint, Curris said he would discuss what transpired at the social gathering at the board’s next meeting, but he wouldn’t declare all action taken by the board on March 15 null and void.
At that meeting, the board voted to accept changes to MSU’s budget totaling more than $5-million in cuts and new revenue. The board also, under the guise of “other business”, voted against extending President Randy Dunn a new contract.
Conway’s opinion states the open meetings law was violated because a quorum was present at the social gathering and university business was discussed.
Chairman Curris confirmed to WKMS on March 16 that university business was discussed, but he said there was no vote counting or collusion among members present at the social gathering. Curris added that a member of the board—Jack Rose—who wasn’t present at the gathering made the motion to extend Dunn a new contract.
The attorney general’s opinion doesn’t require the board to address Deckard’s request to declare the votes null and void. The opinion can be disputed in circuit court.