From: Freeman, Robert (DOS) 
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 4:10 PM

With respect to the issue that you raised,  the interpretation of laws that relate to a superintendent’s right to attend an executive session, I cannot advise as to which law takes precedence or overrides the other.  However, you expressed the belief that a provision in superintendent’s contract that confers the right of the superintendent to attend all executive sessions “is a violation of the OML.”  In short, I disagree.  Section 105(2) of the Open Meetings Law states that:  “Attendance at an executive session shall be permitted to any member of the public body and any other persons authorized by the public body.”  In my opinion, if a board of education approves a provision in a contract with a superintendent, by a majority vote of its members, permitting that person to attend all executive sessions, the superintendent would be “authorized by the public body” to do so during the duration of the contract.  From my perspective, that kind of agreement would not be inconsistent with the Open Meetings Law. 

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
NYS Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave., Suite 650
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518
(518) 474-1927 - fax