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OML-AO-4887

From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:13 PM
To:     
Subject:           Political caucuses
Attachments:   O2749.wpd

Dear

I have received your letter, and unless the Council has established some sort of provision to the
contrary, the eight members of the Council who are of the same political party may, based on the
language of §108(2) of the Open Meetings Law, conduct a political caucus outside the coverage of the
Open Meetings Law.  If the ninth member, who is registered to a different political party, joins a group
of councilmembers and they consist of a majority (at least 5 of 9) for the purpose of discussing public
business, that gathering would, in my view, constitute a “meeting” that falls within the coverage of the
Open Meetings Law.

Attached is an opinion that deals with the matter more expansively. (o2749)

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927
Website: www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html