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OML-AO-5226

VIA EMAIL

From: Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 9:40 AM
To:
Subject: RE: Open Meetings Law Violation

Dear Supervisor Brown:

I have received your thoughtful letter. Nevertheless, we must continue to advise that persons who
have been elected to serve on public bodies but who have not yet assumed their offices are not, in
our view, members of those bodies. Because the application of the Open Meetings Law is triggered
when a majority of the total membership of a public body, a quorum, convenes for the purpose of
conducting public business, those who have not yet taken office are not members and cannot be
counted when determining whether a quorum is present.

In short, in our view, members-elect are not yet members. Consequently, when they meet with one
another or with current members of a public body, but there is no quorum of current members, the
Open Meetings Law does not apply.

Best to you and yours.

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.state.ny.us/coog/index/html