San Olens, Georgia’s new attorney general, has hit the ground running and he’s making great strides in the matter of transparency in government.
Olens is working to put “teeth” into Georgia’s Open Meetings and Records law and to make violators pay where it hurts: their pocketbooks.
The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Olens has found that the Savannah City Council violated state law three times by holding closed-door meetings in their search for a new city manager.
Olens’ office did not assess fines this time but warned city officials that future violations of the Open Meetings Law could result in criminal prosecution.
The AG’s office started investigating in January after the Savannah Morning News reported that the mayor and city council members met privately, once in December and twice in January, to review portfolios and hear presentations from candidates for Savannah city manager.
This is against the law and we’re proud that our new attorney general is going to be tough with offenders.
For the most part, our local government officials abide by the state law regarding openness in government, but Sam Olens sends a strong and clear message to those who are tempted to bend the law: Just don’t do it.