AG rules for Lincoln-Sudbury that certain performance evaluations are not subject to disclosure

SUDBURY – The state Attorney General’s office has ruled that performance evaluations of top public officials prepared by individual members of an elected board are not necessarily subject to disclosure under the state’s Open Meeting Law.

The ruling issued Monday clarifies a section of the AG’s own guide to the state law that seemed to suggest evaluations written by individual board members – not just composite evaluations representing the views of the board as a whole – must be made public.

The Daily News filed a complaint against the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee in August after the board declined to provide individual members’ annual performance reviews of Superintendent Bella Wong. The newspaper appealed the case to the AG’s office in October.

Board members sent their evaluations of Wong to Chairman Kevin Matthews, who created a composite review that was released to the Daily News and discussed at a public meeting on July 6.

The eight-page composite evaluation, which overwhelmingly praised Wong as fully meeting expectations, included unattributed quotes from the evaluations written by individual board members. Read more…