Tenn. attorney general’s ruling on public records relevant in school superintendent search

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III served up a timely reminder last week for the state’s public officials when he issued an opinion that they cannot skirt open-government laws by outsourcing essential governmental functions.

In an advisory opinion issued Friday, Slatery wrote that any records obtained by a third party hired to conduct searches for new schools’ superintendents must be made available for public inspection and its meetings might be subject to the Open Meetings Act.

The opinion involves the Knox County Board of Education seeking hire a new schools superintendent and the likelihood of the board hiring a search firm to find candidates to replace outgoing Superintendent Jim McIntyre.

A search firm or other organization will have to comply with Tennessee's statutes on open government.