Alderman accuses council members of breaking transparency laws

By WEEK Producer

December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 21, 2013 at 12:07 AM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- A Bloomington City alderman filed a complaint to the Illinois Attorney General's office on December 6 alleging that the council broke state transparency laws.

Ward 4 alderman Judy Stearns said during a November 15 closed session council members, City Manager David Hales and Mayor Tari Renner discussed city issues that did not meet the criteria for closed sessions.

Stearns says that the topics discussed included a need for "culture change" in the City, hiring practices and discussion about the City's improving financial condition.

Illinois' Open Meetings Act requires city organizations to be open to citizens about most public business, but does have some exemptions, including discussions related to the performance of specific employees.

Mayor Renner said in the Pantagraph that the accusations are "totally ridiculous" and that at least 19 specific employees were discussed during the closed session.