‘Wyoming Tribune Eagle’ Sues City Over Allegedly Closed Meeting

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A Cheyenne newspaper has sued the city of Cheyenne over what the paper says was an illegal closed meeting.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle filed the lawsuit in Laramie County District Court on Tuesday, asking a judge to order the city’s Building Department Board of Appeals not to rule on whether six old houses in a city historic district may be torn down.

The newspaper, which is seeking an injunction to stop the board from issuing a decision, said the city board violated the state’s open-meetings law by discussing the issue in a closed meeting last week.

Board President Robert Clary said the board’s rules allow for it to close its deliberations to the public. He said the board will meet again Monday to vote on a decision regarding the six houses. The Monday meeting will be open to the public, he said.

“There’s no conclusion until there’s a motion made and it passes or is defeated,” Clary said. The board members “had discussions, but the final action will be taken at that meeting.”

Tribune Eagle Executive Editor D. Reed Eckhardt said it appears the board members’ deliberations have already been conducted in private.

“Our intent is to make certain that this public body does its business in public, as is required by the law,” Eckhardt said.

Cheyenne Mayor Jack Spiker said he hopes the board will resolve the matter by holding a second meeting with public deliberations over whether the historic houses should be demolished. Spiker also said he will direct the Board of Appeals and other city boards to revise their rules to ensure meetings are open to the public.

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