PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced a $1,000 settlement on Monday with the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority to resolve allegations that it violated the Open Meetings Act.
Under the terms of the settlement, the student loan authority acknowledged that it posted notice of a June 26 meeting less than 48 hours prior to the meeting, which is a requirement under the OMA. RISLA will pay a $1,000 civil fine and release the minutes of an executive session it held during the meeting.
The OMA requires that all public bodies provide written notice of their meetings within 48 hours of the meeting, including the date the notice was posted, the time, date and place of the meeting, and a statement specifying the nature of the business that will be discussed at the meeting.
The lawsuit is the result of a complaint filed on June 28 by Peter Kerwin, who alleged that the student loan authority violated the Open Meetings Act by posting notice of the June 26 meeting to the Secretary of State's website on June 25. Kilmartin filed a lawsuit against RISLA on December 14 alleging that the authority willfully or knowingly violated the OMA.
The maximum penalty for each knowing and willful violation of the OMA is $5,000.