Hospital board broke Kentucky’s open meetings law, attorney general says

The board that oversees Louisville, Ky.-based University Medical Center violated the open meetings law in June when it held a closed session to discuss the strategic plan for its downtown campus, the Kentucky attorney general found last week. 

WDRB News filed a written complaint June 24 to University Medical Center board chair Jeffrey Bumpous, alleging University Medical Center’s board broke the Open Meetings Act when the board had a closed discussion about the strategic plan, excluding a reporter who was seeking information about it.

The news station also wrote in the complaint that the board conducted a closed session that was not listed as such on the meeting agenda, in violation of the law. 

The board denied any violation of the Open Meetings Act and said it held a closed session because there were “many items here that are business proposals that we’ll be considering and items in regard to upgrading of our business entities, and so these are all still draft proposals, and so we need to go into executive session to review those.”

But Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron sided with WDRB and said that the Open Meetings Act in Kentucky “does not permit a public agency to discuss its own business strategy among its own members in closed session, because such discussions are public business.”

The attorney general’s ruling has the force of law unless the medical center’s board files a lawsuit to bring the dispute before a judge.

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