A high-profile committee working to iron out differences between Cassia County and the city of Burley over policing accidentally copied reporters on an email this week instructing its members to mislead the media if journalists or a city council candidate came to its next meeting, the Twin Falls Times-News reports today. The panel’s chairman, Bill Parsons, emailed members in advance of a planned public meeting on Friday, saying, “If any newspaper is there we will say someone is not ready and then we can handle by email.”
It’s a violation of the Idaho Open Meeting Law for public boards or committees to collude by email or plan what’s to be said in open meetings ahead of time, the newspaper noted. Parsons is an attorney in the firm that represents the city. You can read the Times-News’ full report here from reporters Laurie Welch and Eric Quitugua.