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Comptroller won't say who filed complaint

It may remain a mystery who contacted the State Comptroller of the Treasury about a possible open meetings violation by McMinnville officials.
That information is not open to the public at this time, says Comptroller Justin P. Wilson.
“Unless we look into it and make an official report on it, we keep the complaint information confidential,” Wilson said. “If we do a report, we will then make the complaint information available.”
Wilson refused to comment on the complaint.
“We don’t make comments about the complaints received,” Wilson told the Standard. “We contact the chairman of the entity telling them about the complaint, but that’s it. Sorry, but I can’t give you any information.”
On Nov. 5, Wilson sent a letter to past mayor Dr. Norman Rone informing him of a complaint from an unidentified individual regarding a procedure the city took Sept. 25 to renew city administrator David Rutherford’s contract.
By the complaint, the meeting’s agenda did not mention the contract. Instead, the item was sent to the full board by Finance Committee members who met earlier that night. The measure was added to the agenda once the full board meeting began.
Despite the procedure being used numerous times in the past, a complaint was made this time. This is likely because Rutherford’s new contract, among other items, increased his salary by $17,000.
In the letter, Wilson urged the city to confer with its attorney as “a citizen has the right to bring a lawsuit against any entity when he/ she feels an open meetings violation has occurred.” 
On Nov. 13, city attorney Tim Pirtle told the board he would not be the judge on whether the city violated the law. 
“I’m going to say that is an opinion for a court,” said Pirtle. “I certainly cannot speak for a court.”
Legal action may not reverse what was done Sept. 25, says Pirtle.
“I will say that I have not read a legal opinion or a court decision where an action of a government entity was voided on facts similar to these,” he said.


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