March 13, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. - In a campaign to kick off Sunshine Week in Missouri, Attorney General Chris Koster today announced he has hired a full-time staff member dedicated to educating government officials about the Missouri Sunshine Law. Public Education Director Tom Durkin will travel the state giving presentations and seminars to state, city and county agencies who request information on Missouri’s open meetings and records law.
Durkin previously served as an administrative assistant in the Missouri Senate and as the communications coordinator for the Missouri Supreme Court. In addition to his background in government, he was a professional actor for 17 years and a high school teacher in Burbank, California for 8 years. Koster says Durkin’s background will be invaluable in making a complex subject understandable.
"I’ve created this position as part of my ongoing effort to promote compliance with the Sunshine Law as an essential ingredient for good government," Koster said. "Having a Sunshine Law expert dedicated to offering personal presentations will provide government officials with the support they need to be well informed in conducting their business in a transparent way."
The process of educating government officials in complying with the Sunshine Law was initiated by former Attorney General Jay Nixon. Koster says he wants to increase the number of Sunshine Law presentations fourfold as part of his effort to bring transparency and fairness to all aspects of government.
Durkin is available to provide educational materials and make in-person presentations upon request. The Attorney General’s Office also offers a free booklet containing a summary of the Sunshine Law, frequently asked questions, interpretations of the law and sample forms for public governmental bodies. To request a personal seminar or order publications, call 573-751-8844 or submit a request online at ago.mo.gov.