The Central Virginian

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Was Louisa County Board of Supervisors’ closed door meeting improper?

Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

There has been a spate of violent activity in Louisa County this year, most recently with the gang-related armed home invasion last month in the Yanceville community.

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors met behind closed doors at its Oct. 21 meeting with members of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and commonwealth’s attorney’s office in what appears to have been an improper meeting.

During this meeting, supervisors were briefed by the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and the Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney’s about information regarding the gang-related home invasion in the Yanceyville community.

The minutes of the board of supervisors meeting for that date, which were approved at the board’s meeting on Monday, Nov. 4, indicate that board members met for the purpose of “legal counsel on actual or probably litigation … regarding criminal activity in Louisa County.”

Based on that description, according to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the supervisors could have discussed the matter in closed session if the county intended to sue those affiliated with the investigation, or if there was a direct threat of a suit being filed against the county.

However, during a telephone interview with County Attorney Michael Lockaby on Tuesday, Nov. 5, he stated that there was no impending suit. Based on that information, it appears that the briefing should have been made in public.,

In addition, Lockaby said that discussing the matter under the code section cited “may have been an oversight,” and should probably have been discussed under 2.2-3711 (A) 3. That code section, as it happens, addresses the acquisition of real property for a public purpose, which was not the topic at hand.

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 7 edition of The Central Virginian.