January 18, 2008
Ozark, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon today filed a lawsuit against the three members of the Christian County Commission, alleging the commissioners violated the Missouri Sunshine Law when they appointed John Housley as county counselor.
The lawsuit alleges Presiding Commissioner John Grubaugh and commissioners Tom Huff and Bill Barnett violated the Sunshine Law by:
“The Sunshine Law is quite clear that, with few exceptions, public business needs to be conducted in the open, with appropriate prior notice,” Nixon said. “The record shows that was not the case here, and these officials need to be held accountable.”
The lawsuit asks the Christian County Circuit Court to enter a judgment finding that the commissioners committed knowing and purposeful violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law; permanently enjoin the commissioners from further violations of the Sunshine Law; and assess civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each knowing violation, and up to $5,000 for each purposeful violation of the Sunshine Law.