Once again Judge Alfred D. Swersky denied Marian Bragg’s petition to the Circuit Court to declare that certain actions taken by the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors violated Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Swersky, a substitute judge in Rappahannock’s 20th Judicial Circuit, issued an opinion letter dated April 11, reasserting his previous dismissal of Bragg’s petition issued in a March 15 opinion letter.
In the March letter, Swersky cited several procedural and technical reasons for dismissing the petition. In response, Bragg’s attorney David Konick, submitted a Motion for Reconsideration, answering the judge’s objections, stating substantive reasons for the petition to go forward.
In her petition issued last September, Bragg alleged that the board and four of its five individual members violated FOIA during the closed portion of several supervisor meetings last summer and fall by improperly discussing topics that were not exempt from the FOIA law.
According to meeting minutes, the reason for the closed-door sessions was to discuss hiring a replacement for County Attorney Peter Luke. Certain personnel discussions are considered sensitive and are exempt under FOIA, meaning they can be held outside the public’s view.
The next step, if Bragg decides to pursue it, would be to appeal the ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court.