Plymouth: Attorney General Slams Selectboard — Again

  Meg Sheehan  Aquifer

State Attorney General Slams Plymouth Selectboard for Open Meeting Law Violations

Second time in 8 months Selectboard slammed by Attorney General

Exposed the Town to up to $44,000 in penalties for violations ($1,000 per day x 44 violations)

Attorney General finds closed door meetings, failure to provide the public with minutes all violate the law

Violations ongoing for almost all of 2023, over 44 instances of violations

Selectboard ordered to release minutes and come into “immediate and future compliance” or face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation

On April 18, 2024, the Massachusetts Attorney General slammed the Plymouth Selectboard for additional Open Meeting Law violations. Read about the Attorney General’s August 2023 ruling on their violations here.

Find the April 18, 2024 Attorney General ruling here. Attorney General OML Ruling April 17, 2024

Highlights of the Attorney General Ruling

The Attorney General found FOUR types of violations on 44 instances:

  • Failure to approve 19 sets of regular minutes on time as required by law.
  • Failed to “review executive session minutes at reasonable intervals.” The Board “convened in executive sessions on over 25 occasions during the 2023 calendar year” but did not review the minutes as required by law.
  • Illegally convened in executive session on June 20, 2023 on disposition of the 1,000 acres in South Plymouth.
  • Gave insufficient notice of an August 8, 2023 of an executive session meeting on the Holtec land (Pilgrim nuclear site), about 1,500 acres.

“Government in the sunshine”

The goal of the Open Meeting Law is to “eliminate much of the secrecy surrounding deliberations and decisions on which public policy is based.” Read more here on the Attorney General’s website.

How can a Town like Plymouth with its massive new Town Hall building and extensive staff continue to operate like an autocracy behind closed doors? We will continue to fight for transparency and accountability behind the facade of Town Hall.

Take Action: Be a Town Hall Watchdog!

Anyone can file an Open Meeting Law complaint. It is simple and the Attorney General has a citizen guide here.

Join the Plymouth Area League of Women Voters and learn more about how local government works!

Contact CLWC for assistance.

1 thought on “Plymouth: Attorney General Slams Selectboard — Again

  1. Extremely concerned with this situation. It is paramount for local town Committees and Boards to strictly follow open meeting laws. Thanks for your advocacy on behalf of Town of Plymouth (though I am not a citizen of that town). Will be closely following this issue…

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