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Michigan High Court Denies Hearing in Secret-Meeting Case

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal over alleged secret meetings of the financial review board formed to address Detroit’s fiscal crisis, according to a court order.

Robert Davis, a staff representative of Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, sued the Detroit review board and Governor Rick Snyder Feb. 1, alleging that holding private hearings and failure to provide public notice of hearings violated the state Open Meetings Act.

The high court in Lansing denied the appeal “because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed,” according to today’s order.

After the lawsuit was filed, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette barred the team from violating the law and holding closed-door sessions, according to Davis’s lawyer, Andrew Paterson. An appeals court on March 23 ordered Collette “to take no further action” in the case.

Paterson isn’t sure whether the board is still meeting, and said in a phone interview today that Michigan’s Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments May 3 on the lawsuit.

The case is Davis v. City of Detroit Financial Review Team, 309219, 309250, Court of Appeals, State of Michigan (Lansing).

To contact the reporters on this story: Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net; Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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