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Woodward Industrial Foundation lawsuit dismissed

A district judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Woodward Industrial Foundation in an effort to keep from having to comply with the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act and Open Records Act.
by Randy Ellis Modified: January 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm •  Published: January 26, 2013
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— A district judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Woodward Industrial Foundation in an effort to keep from having to comply with the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act and Open Records Act.

At a hearing Thursday, Garfield County District Judge Paul Woodward dismissed the case because of lack of jurisdiction.

“I'm real pleased with the ruling,” said Woodward County District Attorney Hollis Thorp, who sparked the lawsuit when he informed foundation board members they must abide by the Open Meeting Act.

Thorp acted after receiving a complaint from a Woodward woman who was blocked from attending a foundation meeting.

The Woodward Industrial Foundation had argued it was not a public body and should not be required to comply with the Open Meeting Act and Open Records Act.

The foundation contended it is a private, not-for-profit corporation that contracts with the City of Woodward to recruit businesses and promote economic development. The city is to pay the foundation $32,000 a month for its services under a contract amendment approved earlier this week.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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