The district attorney’s office for Middlesex County has dismissed a complaint that a town conservation commission member violated the state’s open meetings law by sending an e-mail to other board members complaining about the board’s chair, the MetroWest Daily News reports today.
Assistant DA Loretta Lillios dismissed the complaint because the alleged violation was later remedied by making the e-mail part of the public record. In so doing, however, she cautioned that the law clearly applies to e-mails:
“As you know, this office has long held that private communications, including e-mail communications, that occur among a quorum of a governmental body, and that concern substantive matters within the jurisdiction of the governmental body, violate the Open Meeting Law. Like private conversations held in person or over the telephone, such e-mail conversations deprive the public of the opportunity to attend and monitor these e-mail ’meetings’ and are a serious violation of the Open Meeting Law.”