The State Attorney’s Office is wrapping up an investigation into whether some Cooper City officials violated the state’s Sunshine Law during a 2012 meeting, according to an office spokesman.
The investigation is expected to conclude within several days. Spokesman Ron Ishoy would not comment on specifics.
But according to City Commissioner John Sims, the investigation focuses on an April 12, 2012, meeting in the city manager’s office in which commissioners, city staff and representatives of the Optimist Club of Cooper City were present.
Sims said he wasn’t at the meeting because he didn’t know about it. He said the meeting wasn’t advertised in the customary manner — on the city’s website calendar and on an electronic sign at City Hall. Sims said he usually receives emails from city staff about upcoming meetings, but didn’t receive one in this instance while all other commissioners were notifed by email.
Email records of the meeting listed basic details: 10 people attended, including former Mayor Debby Eisinger, three commissioners, city staff and members of the Optimist Club. They discussed issues regarding playing field maintenence and preparation.
Sims said he didn’t find out about the meeting until seven months later when a supporter, Skip Klauber, showed him emails he had received as part of a public records request for unrelated documents. Klauber, a retiree and local activist, susequently contacted the State Attorney’s Office.
Eisinger said the meeting adhered to the Sunshine law.
“All meetings were properly advertised, there was absolutely no wrongdoing,” she said.
On Jan. 8, 2014, David Wolpin, with the city attorney’s office, told Sims in a letter, “I believe the 2012 meeting complied with each of the requirements of the Sunshine Law.” He said public notice was posted on a bulletin board at City Hall, that the city manager kept minutes, and that the meeting was open to the public.
The inquiry marks the second time in nine years that Cooper City officials have been scrutinized for possible violations of Florida’s open meetings law. In 2006 the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated five Cooper City commissioners in connection with an Aug. 22, 2006, gathering at a bar, but concluded the officials did not violate the law by discussing city issues privately.
Original article here.