Okay. I’m not taking political sides. I’m just saying that the Republicans went on and on about how unfounded the Trump impeachment charges were, they were politically motivated, blah blahdee blah. Since the impeachment vote was almost completely on party lines, they had a point.
And here we are. Sue Kelly and Matt Anderson are two staunch Republicans doing the exact. same. thing. to Erica Moon-Mohr. I can’t even find an example of anyone ever being charged with a violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act. Offenders (real ones) get an “education” from the prosecutor’s office about the Open Meetings Act, and at best, a public censure from their board peers. Yet, Kelly and Anderson are carrying the torches for Moon-Mohr to face criminal charges. Like, sit in jail and not receive medical care because this is Grand Traverse County criminal charges. The political hypocrisy is stunning. Our political system is so broken.
My next beef: Not-elected prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg conflicts out of this case because she had a loose affiliation with Moon-Mohr’s mother in law but doesn’t conflict out of the allegations against her very own jail administrator Todd Ritter? In a community this size Moeggenberg has surely prosecuted people with whom she has had closer affiliations than that. I would like someone in the media to ask Moeggenberg to answer why the Moon-Mohr relationship is enough to conflict out but Ritter is not. My speculation is that she knows there is nothing to the Moon-Mohr allegations but doesn’t want to diss her fellow Republicans. And at the same time, she has to keep the Ritter allegations from going forward, which they would with bells and whistles if they ever got in the hands of another prosecutor or the attorney general. Moeggenberg can choose to enlighten us.
Back to the Open Meetings Act. Michigan Compiled Law 15.268 says that a public body may go into closed session for an approved reason. MCL 15.267 says that the minutes of the closed session are not available to the public.
The. law. does. not. say. anything. about. board. members. not. being. able. to. talk. about. what. is. said. in. closed. session. Laws are interpreted according to their plain meaning (it’s the republicans that always harp on that, in fact). The law says that the public body can go into closed session, and the minutes from closed session aren’t publicly available.
However, there is nothing in the law anywhere, and no case law that I can find, that in any way limits any board member’s authority to talk about what happens in a closed session. Closed session is so that board members can talk about things confidentially if they choose to. However, the law doesn’t prohibit one of them from telling the world after the fact. You’ve got to jump through a whole lotta hoops in order to get from – don’t disclose the minutes — to — it’s a crime if one board member squeals on what was said in here. Closed session is a shield, not a sword.
There is no case law interpreting anything on the topic of whether a board member can talk about closed session. With rounds of appeals and everyone politically motivated on the TCAPS board and in the judiciary, the Moon-Mohr charges are going nowhere. It’s just a matter of when they’re going nowhere.
No, I’m not taking political sides with all this. I’m sure if and when the democrats ever run Grand Traverse, we’ll still be in business.