WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- Officials in West Warwick are being accused of violating Rhode Island's open meetings law.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed a lawsuit Friday against the West Warwick Town Council.
The lawsuit alleges that the council held a meeting on June 4, despite giving the public only seven minutes notice.
The Open Meetings Act requires public bodies to give written notice of any meetings at least 48 hours ahead of time.
"In times of fiscal emergencies and public protection, it is important that government have the flexibility to meet, discuss and take action on issues vital to a community's well-being," said Kilmartin in a statement. "In all instances, however, it is just as important that public bodies do their best to inform taxpayers of those actions. It is incumbent upon public bodies to be open and transparent to the citizenry, and the burden to inform the public rightfully falls on the public body."
The maximum penalty under the act is $5,000 for each knowing of willful violation.
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