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Sheriff's department investigates open meetings complaint



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August 13, 2013 | 11:40 AM
GENOA CITY — A Walworth County sheriff's detective investigated the village for a complaint of an open meetings law violation.

Det. Robert Sharpe said he completed his investigation and it was referred to the Walworth County District Attorney's Office for an opinion.

The complaint was made by attorney Steven Wassel, who represents citizens who circulated a petition to force the village to have direct legislation for projects that cost more than $500,000. Wassel said he spoke to District Attorney Daniel Necci and the sheriff's department.

Necci said he hasn't yet seen the investigative materials. He also said after he sees the material, it will take some time to review it.

For strategic purposes, Wassel has declined to state the specific nature of the complaint.

However, on July 11, Wassel's clients handed in a petition with 230 signatures on it. The petition required direct legislation, meaning a referendum vote, for projects costing more than $500,000. Later that night, the village board approved an ordinance for direct legislation for projects costing more than $2 million. At that time, Village Attorney Linda Gray said the petition can't conflict with an existing ordinance, and the petition had not yet been certified by the village and therefore wasn't official.

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