Norman City Council Illegally Cut Police Budget, Judge Rules

By Nolan ClayStaff writernclay@oklahoman.comNORMAN — A judge has ruled the City Council broke the law in June when it voted to reduce the police department's budget by $865,000 and reallocate the money.Carter County Associate District Judge Thomas K. Baldwin declared the votes invalid because of "a willful violation" of the Open Meeting Act.The judge specifically found that language in a required notice about the June 16 special meeting was "deceptively worded" or materially obscured the meeting's purpose."Any person who read the language used would not have understood that there would be a defunding, a reallocation or modification of any underlying departments' budget," Baldwin wrote."The overall purpose of the Open Meeting Act is 'to encourage and facilitate an informed citizenry's understanding of the governmental processes and governmental problems,'" the judge also wrote.The notice about the special meeting had stated the City Council was going to consider adoption of the city's proposed operating and capital budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.The ruling Thursday is a victory for Norman's police union.The Fraternal Order of the Police, Lodge No.Read more on NewsOK.com

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