Arizona AG: Internet public meetings OK

Chris Rizo Oct. 1, 2008, 11:38am

Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Public agencies in Arizona may hold some of their meetings over the Internet, state Attorney General Terry Goddard says.

The Democratic attorney general said Tuesday that members of the Camp Verde Unified School District can hold discussions and deliberations in cyberspace without violating the state's Open Meeting Law.

Although meetings can be held over the Web, the public must have access to the meeting, Goddard said in a formal legal opinion.

"The Open Meeting Law clearly contemplates the ability of the board to hold meetings through the use of technological devices, such as telephones, video cameras, or even Web cameras, in which all members of the body are present simultaneously to discuss the board's business," he wrote.

Goddard said, however that the school board members would not be allowed to do such things as propose new ordinances or regulations through e-mail messages to which the public is not privy.

"To comply with the statute, the public must be able to access the entire course of discussion or deliberation between the board members and be able to identify which board members contributed which edits or comments," he said.

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