How is a public official defined? Case goes to state supreme cou - WNEM TV 5

How is a public official defined? Case goes to state supreme court

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Village of Oakley sign Village of Oakley sign
OAKLEY, MI (WNEM) -

The village of Oakley is no stranger to controversial court proceedings over the past several years.

The village of nearly 300 nearly went bankrupt keeping the roster of its more than 100 reserve police officers private.

That list, which included rock star Kid Rock and a Detroit Lion's player was eventually made public.

The village was back in court on Wednesday, at the state Supreme Court because of what seems like a small change to meeting minutes more than two years ago.

What's the big deal? The attorney spearheading the case against the Oakley's clerk, Cheryl Bolf, said the outcome of this case will affect the entire state.

“This decision today is going to define who is a public official and who is responsible for the transparent operations of a government," said attorney Phil Ellison.

During his arguments, Ellison said Bolf has already admitted on record she changed minutes to a meeting without ever disclosing the actions of Oakley trustees in advance.

Ellison said if the court rules Bolf cannot be held liable because she is not a public official, it opens the doors to back door deals and potentially secret meetings that you the taxpayers will be shut out of.

“If the public doesn't know they're happening, they don't get a voice, they don't get a say," Ellison said.

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