From The Columbus Dispatch

The Dispatch Printing Company sued the Columbus Board of Education yesterday, saying the board violated Ohio law when it barred the public from meetings to discuss a student-data scandal.

The newspaper has asked a Franklin County Common Pleas judge to stop the board from holding more closed meetings and to require it to turn over records that show what was discussed in seven private meetings starting in August.

The board said it closed the meetings to meet with a lawyer about the data investigation, but the lawsuit contends that public boards are allowed to meet with their attorneys only about specific legal action against the district.

State law is clear, said Marion H. Little Jr., the attorney for Dispatch Printing, “that the public’s business should be conducted in front of the public. The public is entitled to access. This is not to be conducted behind a closed door.” Two separate Ohio appeals-court rulings have specified that public boards can’t close meetings simply to meet with their lawyer.

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