Appellate Court rules transparency, Rice Notice required

The Appellate Division has ruled that the absence of discussion about a person’s employment prior to a vote does not relieve the board of its responsibility to advise the employee of his/her right to have the matter publicly discussed. The published decision states: “…[T]he fact that the board voted…without discussion in order to avoid sending…Rice notice obscured the decision-making process. This is precisely what the Legislature intended to prevent when it adopted the OPMA. …A silent, unexplained vote to approve a list of preapproved candidates in public session gives the impression that the board colluded to circumvent the OPMA’s requirements.” Additionally, as part of the opinion, the court encouraged Kean U. to hold more frequent board meetings to effect timely release of meeting minutes. The University has indicated it may appeal the ruling.


Union News Daily
Ruling against Kean could have widespread implications
by Elana Knopp
February 25, 2017