Supreme Court hearing set in Michigan ‘public official’ lawsuit

A case that began in the wood-paneled meeting room in the village of Oakley will be heard in the chambers of Michigan's highest court, where justices will consider defining the term "public official" in how it applies to the state's Open Meetings Act.

The proceedings began three years ago in April 2013, when Hemlock attorney Philip L. Ellison sued Oakley village Clerk Cheryl Bolf on behalf of Oakley resident Shannon Bitterman, alleging violations from a closed meeting in November 2012.

The trustees held a closed meeting that violated the Open Meetings Act, the lawsuit alleges, and Bolf improperly made changes to meeting minutes, intentionally violating the act. Attorneys representing Bolf argue she is not considered a public official for the purposes of the Open Meetings Act. Continue…