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Published April 18, 2013, 12:00 PM

N.D. attorney general says higher ed board violated open meeting law

North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education violated open meeting laws during a dinner meeting earlier this year, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Thursday.

By: Ryan Johnson, Forum News Service

BISMARCK – North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education violated open meeting laws during a dinner meeting earlier this year, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Thursday.

The Forum newspaper asked Stenehjem on March 8 to look into possible violations of the state’s open meeting laws for its Jan. 16 and March 6 dinner meetings. No agenda or detailed minutes were provided for the meetings.

In his written opinion,Stenehjem wrote the Jan. 16 dinner social at Chancellor Hamid Shirvani’s Bismarck home was subject to the open meeting laws. He said the board failed to provide the legally required public notice of the meeting, and also didn’t provide proper minutes of that dinner.

He said the March 6 dinner social was not subject to the laws.

Stenehjem said the board must create separate minutes for the Jan. 16 social, including the names of all who attended and a more detailed description of discussions at the meeting. Each board member who attended must write their version of the discussions that happened regarding official business.

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