DA Gives KCC 120 Days To Fix Open Meetings Issues

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee Co. District Attorney Chad Taylor is giving the Kansas Corporation Commission 120 days to fix issues complying with the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

The KCC says it will work with an outside entity to meet the deadline.

Taylor field a motion Tuesday, putting a stay on litigation he filed against the KCC. In a news release, the DA's office says it is giving the KCC time to conduct a voluntary internal audit of its policies and procedures and how they related to the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

The DA's office says it expects the case could be resolved "well before" the deadline.

Taylor filed a lawsuit against the KCC in the wake of the agency approving a large rate increase for the Salina Water District. The Citizen Utility Ratepayer Board complained the KCC commissioners used a process called "pink sheeting" to approve the increase without holding a public meeting.

Taylor's initial filing sought an injunction against the rate increase. Last week, the KCC withdrew their action on the rate increase, and that part of the litigation was dropped.

In a statement Wednesday, KCC spokesperson Jesse Borjon said, "The Commission appreciates the opportunity to work with an outside entity to fully review internal KOMA processes. The Commission has said from the beginning that they will fully cooperate with any investigation; and, the Commission views this as an opportunity to validate and improve processes where necessary. The Commission will seek advice from an outside entity to meet the 120 day timeframe the District Attorney has set forth."

Borjon says the KCC voted last week to suspend the "pink sheeting" process.

The Kansas vs. KCC case in Shawnee County District Court is Case No. 13C702