Review: Iowa transparency board violated open meetings law

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Government investigators say a board created to enforce Iowa’s open meetings law violated legal requirements by twice refusing to explain its votes in a high-profile case last year.

The Iowa Public Information Board has set a goal of being the most transparent government body in Iowa and setting the standard for those it regulates.

Yet a report released Thursday by the state ombudsman’s office says the board went into closed session on shaky legal footing during two meetings last year to discuss a case.

The report says the board then took votes in open meetings that were so vague that the public had no idea what actions were taken. The Open Meetings Law requires that decisions be “easily accessible to the people.”

The report says the board refused to provide minutes and audio recordings from its closed sessions despite a state law that grants the ombudsman access.

The board denies any wrongdoing.

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