Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
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Judge orders Ohio township to pay in meetings case

LEBANON, Ohio — A judge who earlier found that a southwest Ohio township government violated open-meetings law with informal gatherings has ordered it to pay nearly $200,000 in attorney fees and costs.

A 2011 lawsuit said Clearcreek Township trustees in Warren County regularly met in the township administrator’s office before public meetings to work out their positions on issues.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Warren County Common Pleas Judge James Flannery has ordered the township to pay the attorney fees on behalf of resident Jack Chrisman, who sued the trustees.

A lawyer with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said it’s a large award for open-government litigation, and encouraging.

Township officials said the attorney fees would be paid from township funds because insurance coverage has been exhausted.

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