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Politics & Government

Pittsburgh Council OKs Fines For Discussing Secret Meetings

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA


Pittsburgh City Council has voted to approve a measure that will let it censure or fine members up to $500 for discussing "secret" executive session meetings.

Pennsylvania's Open Meetings Law lets municipal bodies meet secretly to discuss litigation, labor negotiations, personnel matters, criminal investigations or the purchase or lease of property. But the law doesn't require those matters to be discussed privately, nor does it ban elected officials from speaking about them.

In the matter approved by a 7-1 vote Monday, a majority of council could decide to fine or censure a member who violated attorney-client privilege after an executive session.

Council president Darlene Harris voted against the gag rule and Councilwoman Deb Gross wasn't present for the vote.