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Charlotte Observer: Newsmen returned to limelight in open meetings challenge

From the Charlotte Observer (5/31/13): It’s as though a time machine crashed at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

Three reporters from the 1970s brought an action in April asking that the city of Charlotte be found in contempt of an open-meetings order they helped to secure in 1973. At issue was the behind-closed-doors vote to offer the Carolina Panthers millions of dollars for a stadium upgrade.

This week, Superior Court Judge Robert Sumner decided the action would not go forward because the open-meetings law from 1973 was rewritten by the legislature in 1979, meaning the original order was no longer valid. But it’s worth looking at the history, and the personalities behind it.

First is attorney Paul Whitfield, well qualified for a seat in the time machine: He brought the original action in the 1970s and still practices law in Charlotte.

Read the full story ...

Colin Donohue,
6/3/2013 9:40 AM