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Norman councilman accuses mayor of violating Open Meetings Act

Norman City Councilman Tom Kovach is claiming Mayor Cindy Rosenthal violated the state's Open Meeting Act during discussions about the city manager's impending pay raise.
by Andrew Knittle Published: March 19, 2013
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In addition to serving on the Norman City Council since 2008, Kovach has been working in recent months as a consultant for Tom Sherman, who is running against Rosenthal for mayor.

Kovach denies that relationship has anything to do with the “timing of me releasing this information.”

“Tom hired me to get him up to speed on all the city issues,” Kovach said. “I at no time discussed disclosing this memo with him or anybody on his campaign. I didn't give him any heads-up that I was going to do it.”

Kovach said he publicly expressed his concerns about the alleged Open Meeting Act violation in a relatively short time, pointing out that the memo was sent by Rosenthal less than a month ago.

“The elections started in January, as far as I'm concerned ... I didn't sit on this,” he said. “This is something we tried to resolve in the executive session after several council members raised this concern.”

Kovach, who made similar allegations against the council in 2009, said he will report open meeting violations as he sees them, not for political gain.

“Even if (it were) political, which for me it is not, it would be a violation of law no matter what,” Kovach said. “It is spin to try and divert attention from that fact to anything else. Did it happen and was it violation are the pertinent questions.”

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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