Back in October, we looked at whether or not an executive session was illegal. Part of the argument was that attorney client privilege can only be used when no one other than the client is present. The County Attorney gave me a copy of Attorney General Opinion 92-56. The opinion relates to KPERS, but it does establish that the “client” can include any employee or elected official off the county.
With regard to whether KPERS staff or investment managers may be present in an executive session called pursuant to K.S.A. 75 – 4319(b)(2), K.S.A. 60-426 addresses the attorney client privilege and subsection (c) of that statute recognizes that this privilege may extend to staff or officials of a corporate client. K.S.A. 74-4903 creates the KPERS as “a body corporate. . . .” Thus, KPERS staff meet the definition of client. Such staff may therefore be permissibly present during an executive session without destroying the attorney-client privilege.
So the executive session was legal from the standpoint of falling within attorney/client privilege and our suggestion that the County Treasurer wasn’t allowed in the meeting was based on a misunderstanding of whether Attorney Dan Meara was representing the Commissioners or the County. Since he is representing the County, any County employee or official can be present.
Special thanks to County Attorney Terri Johnson for taking the time to explain this and point out the section of the Attorney General’s Opinion.
On November 15th, we looked at some of the other forms of unpaid taxes in the county. I had a few people point out that some of the businesses listed with unpaid taxes have been sold and are owned by different owners now. So don’t stop supporting someone just because the business name is on the list. It might be the previous owners who didn’t remit their sales tax to the state.