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Monday, July 30, 2012 - 7:39am

Sunshine Law Faces Challenge

Updated: 2 years ago.
The city of Cumming is challenging the state's new sunshine laws in response to an open meetings lawsuit state Attorney General Sam Olens filed against its mayor. (photo courtesy Three people listening intently to a speaker during meeting by Harless Todd, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

A Georgia city is challenging the state's new sunshine laws in response to an open meetings lawsuit state Attorney General Sam Olens filed against its mayor.

The Fulton County Daily Report reports that Olens' lawsuit is the first under Georgia's new Open Meetings and Open Records acts.

The lawsuit states that Cumming Mayor Ford Gravitt and police barred Nydia Tisdale from videotaping an April 17 city council meeting. The new law, which went into effect the same day, provides for visual and sound recordings of public meetings and authorizes the attorney general to sue violators and seek penalties.

The city responded to the lawsuit on July 19, arguing that Gravitt was presiding over the meeting in his official capacity and is protected under the Georgia Constitution's sovereign immunity doctrine.

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