McKeesport school district fined $250 for violating open meeting order

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The McKeesport Area School District must pay $250 toward an education fund within 30 days for its failure to announce an executive session with its board of directors in April.

The PG Publishing Co. -- which publishes the Post-Gazette -- sought action against the district in a petition for contempt filed May 12.

The publishing company had previously entered a consent order with the district in April 2012, in which the district agreed to publicly announce either at the beginning or end of a regular meeting that an executive session has or will take place. The agreement, sought after the district failed to follow provisions of the state Sunshine Act, also required the district to announce the reason for the session.

However, on April 23, the district held an executive session at the conclusion of its open meeting, without providing any notice.

PG attorney Frederick Frank said in his petition that the district's violation of the consent order "is consistent with its continued pattern of flouting the provisions of the Sunshine Act."

Under the new consent order entered in the case today, the district agreed that it "inadvertently" violated a previous consent order requiring notice to be given before or after any executive session.

Under the agreement signed by Common Pleas Judge Paul F. Lutty Jr., if any other violations occur, the district will be required to pay "substantial fines."

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