City of Columbus v. Commercial DispatchAnnotate this Case
The Mayor and the Columbus City Council members held four pairs of prearranged, nonsocial and subquorum gatherings over the course of two months. For each pair of gatherings, the Mayor first met with three Council members, and then later the same day, he met with the remaining three Council members on the same topic. Because all of the gatherings were just shy of a quorum (four Council members would have constituted a quorum), the gatherings were not open to the public. A reporter for The Commercial Dispatch received notice of the meetings, and filed an Open Meetings Act Complaint against the Mayor and the City of Columbus. The Ethics Commission found that the Mayor and the City of Columbus had violated the Open Meetings Act. The Mayor and the City of Columbus appealed to the chancery court. The chancery court affirmed the Commission’s judgment on de novo review. The Mayor and the City of Columbus appealed to this Court. Finding no reversible error in the chancery court's judgment, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed.