November 10, 2015

Complaint filed against Thomas


President of the Washburn City Commission Larry Thomas is currently fighting allegations that he violated North Dakota Open Meeting and Open Record laws for holding a meeting without notifying the public and now withholding responses to the Attorney General’s office in response to the possible violation.

Earlier this fall, Thomas and fellow commissioner Kit Baumann held a meeting to open and discuss bid proposals for a new garbage contract for the city. Though a quorum of the commission was not present at the meeting, multiple representatives of the North Dakota Attorney General’s office, along with a separate N.D. attorney, stated that the two men were considered a committee, which is also required to abide by state Open Meeting laws.

"It, without a doubt, violated the law," attorney Jack McDonald said. "There is no question about it."

North Dakota Century Code states that whenever a quorum, or majority, of commission or committee members gathers to discuss public business, a meeting is being held and the public must be notified. In the case of the Oct. 5 meeting, neither the public nor the designated newspaper were notified and the meeting was not posted online or at City Hall.

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