Monday, December 14, 2009

New Chairman of Indianapolis Animal Care & Control Advisory Board Pulls Plug on Channel 16 Coverage of Meetings

In yet another blow to public scrutiny and accountability, the new Chairman of the Indianapolis Animal Care & Control Advisory Board David Horth has booted Channel 16 out of public meetings. According to Horth's explanation which can be found on YouTube, he found out upon becoming chairman that he had a right to ban Channel 16 from meetings and didn't find the presence of the TV cameras to be productive.

Horth is wrong. While he might be able to ASK Channel 16 to come to meetings (like anyone else could), he has no legal authority to prevent Channel 16 or anyone else from video or audio taping meetings. See IC 5-14-1-3(a). Hopefully no one over at City Legal gave him that legal advice. If so, that attorney should learn the basics of the Open Door Law. See page 17 of this presentation from former Public Access Counselor Heather Willis Neal.

Horth's explanation rings hollow. Nothing good has ever come of government behind closed doors which always leads to less scrutiny and less accountability. Given what is happening in animal control, the last thing this board needs is less public scrutiny of its actions.

1 comment:

Downtown Indy said...

He's pretty clear all that matters is HE 'hasn't benefitted' nevermind the citizens who can't attend but are nonetheless interested in the proceedings.