Tennessee judge rules election panel violated open meetings

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee judge has ruled the state’s Registry of Election Finance violated open meeting laws when it held a vote by email on the eve of an election filing deadline. At issue was more than $65,000 owed by state Rep. Joe Towns to the Registry and the Tennessee Ethics Commission. The Registry voted by email on April 1 to accept a settlement offer of $22,000. Media and watchdog groups including The Associated Press sued. In a Friday ruling, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle said the email vote did violate the Tennessee Open Meetings Act. She declined the plaintiffs’ petition to take further action including supervising the Registry to prevent future violations.

By TRAVIS LOLLER

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Associated Press