From The Repository

In response to a lawsuit alleging an open meetings violation, City Council members signed their names Tuesday to paper ballots of a vote taken at a Jan. 13 meeting.

The paper ballot vote, regarded as a secret ballot in a lawsuit filed by former City Councilman Steven Okey, was to elect two members out of three candidates to the city Water and Sewer Advisory Board.

The six council members who signed the paper ballots Tuesday night did so under the advice of city Law Director Jennifer Arnold. The same council members are named as defendants in Okey’s lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims City Council violated state open meeting standards by submitting votes without signatures.

But by signing the paper ballots, Arnold said, “you are now open. If anyone wants to see them (ballots), we will wave them in their face. If they really want to know who you voted for, it (lawsuit) can be dismissed (Wednesday) morning.”

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