CROSBY — The city of Crosby violated North Dakota’s open meeting and records laws by holding business meetings before a regular meeting without notice and failing to adequately respond to a request for records, prosecutors say General Drew Wrigley.
Crosby City Council met on July 12, 2021 to hold administrative hearings into alleged violations of its nuisance ordinance. No notices were prepared or posted and no agenda was prepared. The next day, a Crosby Journal reporter requested numerous documents related to the meeting and the alleged violations. The city denied some records, citing “Lawyer work product.”
Wrigley reviewed emails from attorneys who were denied and determined that some failed to meet the public records exemption standard. He noted that an email from a lawyer included in an email chain does not exempt the whole email chain from public records, but only the part of the email chain. that meets the legal definition of exemption may be excluded.
Within one week of the publication of the September 29 notice, the Town of Crosby must provide the minutes of the July 12 nuisance hearings to the Journal and to any member of the public upon request. He must provide the attorney emails after redacting only the exempted parts.