Treasurer has the right to attend executive sessions
HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a unanimous ruling, the Commonwealth Court today handed Treasurer Rob McCord an important victory in his lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The Court, overruling the Gaming Board's preliminary objections, said that the Treasurer had the right to proceed in his suit to gain access to the agency's closed-door meetings. It explicitly held that the law "clearly provides that the Treasurer or his designee shall serve on the Board as a non-voting ex officio member of the Board."
In the decision, the Court ordered the Gaming Board to respond to the Treasurer's suit by January 10, but rejected the arguments made by the Board to support its exclusion of Treasurer McCord from executive sessions.
"The Board was wrong," Treasurer McCord said today. "The Court has recognized my status as a member of the Gaming Board. Now it's up to the Board to decide if it wants to continue this pointless fight."
"I did not seek this office to look for conflict," the Treasurer said. "But I won't shy away from it if the rights of Pennsylvanians are threatened, which they certainly are in this case. I have an important role to play on this Board, and I intend to play it."
Treasurer McCord filed his lawsuit in May, in an effort to enjoin the Gaming Board from preventing him from effective participation in board matters. The Gaming Board argued that including the Treasurer in the Board's private deliberation would taint the Board's proceedings.
The Court also rejected this Gaming Board argument. "We do not see how the involvement of the Treasurer pursuant to [the Gaming Act] creates any appearance of impropriety," the Court wrote in its opinion, which can be found at www.patreasury.org.
The Court noted that the Treasurer is a Commonwealth official acting on behalf of the Commonwealth, not on behalf of gaming companies, their principal investors or other interested parties.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Treasury Department