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Lewis County attorney says executive session was proper

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County Attorney Joan E. McNichol said Friday that a Times article mischaracterized as improper an executive session called Thursday night at a joint county Board of Legislators and Industrial Development Agency meeting.

Ms. McNichol said the session was called to discuss topics that can be done in private under state law.

“The executive session did in fact contain discussion about ‘matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of particular person or corporation,’” Ms. McNichol wrote in an email to the Times. “This is precisely what was discussed in executive session. There was no consensus reached, and so the session was ended.”

However, in talking with a Times reporter after the executive session, Legislature Chairman Michael A. Tabolt said the discussion was about the option of whether to do nothing, combine forces or determine whether one central leader was the right option. That topic would not be appropriate for an executive session.

Ms. McNichol said she was present throughout the session, however, and it was her opinion that nothing was discussed that was inappropriate.

“I ask you to reconsider the statement made in the article, since it is my firm and legal opinion that the board had proper grounds for executive session for this specific topic,” Ms. McNichol wrote in the email.

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