Coffee County Sunshine Law

A state spokesman says a called meeting by the chairman of the Coffee County Board of Human Resources was a violation of the Sunshine Law.

In a prepared statement, the Department of Human Resources in Montgomery states that the Tuesday night meeting in Enterprise did not comply with the elements of the open meeting law and that the meeting had to be posted in a public place for at least 7-days prior to it being held.

It was reportedly called to discuss the employment status of the Coffee County DHR director.

DHR chief legal counsel says the board was meeting in violation of the law.

Once informed about possible violation of the Sunshine act, each board member left the building.

The meeting never actually took place.

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  • by Joe Location: Enterprise on Feb 6, 2009 at 06:42 PM
    This is very scary. These are the people who are deciding which families stay together and which are torn apart. I hope their judgement on family break-up is better than their judgement on employee management. In the meantime families are feeling the very real brunt of these peoples decisions.
  • by knowswhatsup on Oct 7, 2008 at 09:45 AM
    1. Committees and Subcommittees: The OMA covers meetings of committees and sub-committees of a government body. 2. Job Performance: The “Character and Good Name” exception to the prior Sunshine Law has been narrowed, and “Job Performance” discussions of all public officials and clearly defined managerial level public employees must be conducted in public. 3. No Secret Ballots: The OMA prevents all voting by secret ballots. 4. Quorum: The counting of persons towards a quorum now includes elected/appointed persons who have not officially taken office in an effort to prevent “pre-swearing-in” meetings. 5. Notice: Clearly defined deadlines for notice of meetings have been established. Generally, the notice requirements are 7 days for regular meetings, 1 day for special meetings, and 1 hour for emergency meetings. 6. Recording: The OMA sets forth guidelines for what must be recorded by the body during an open meeting. 7. Electronic Communications: The OMA prevents the use of electronic media and communications to circumvent the goal of an open meeting. 8. Taping: All open meetings can be (openly) taped by the media. 9. Penalties and Immunity: The OMA prescribes civil -- rather than criminal -- penalties for violations of the OMA. Officials acting within the parameters of the OMA will be immune from liability for their statements made during the meetings.
  • by knowswhatsup on Oct 7, 2008 at 09:20 AM
    Where are the postings for the board meetings supposed to be put up? Can it be any public place or is there a specified public place? Who is responsible for putting up the posting for the board meeting? Where do we find out who all the board members are? It might be a good idea for all of those opposed to Mr. Donaldson being removed from the board, and Mr. Hardin remaining in his position, to go to the board meeting in Montgomery this month. I've found that most of these board members don't have much clout when it comes to getting things done with DHR. Either they don't want to rock the boat or they just can't accomplish anything meaningful.
  • by knowswhatsup Location: anonymous on Sep 29, 2008 at 12:35 PM
    I heard that now they want Donaldson to quit because he doesn't live in the district??? Is that true? If so, why didn't they worry about that before all of this happened? DHR is famous for violating the Sunshine Law and they'll use any means to do it. Has their been a history of Donaldson against Hardin? Not from what I've heard. Now all of a sudden Donaldson has an axe to grind with Hardin? Why would he, other than the fact that DHR is intimidating Donaldson? Anyone that abuses someone in the workplace (vulgarity, racial prejudice, etc.) shouldn't be working there especially when it's the taxpayers money that is paying his salary. How many private employers would let you get away with that?
  • by knowswhatsup Location: anonymous on Sep 29, 2008 at 09:38 AM
    Did any of you read the Dothan Eagle and see the proof? It seems to me that all of you that are on DHR's side are the one's benefiting from something that isn't quite on the up and up. I know DHR inside and out and what I'm hearing about the Director is right on target (I know him also). It's a shame the board can't just do what's right without intimidation and threats. It does, however, let them see that it's not just a rumor that DHR abuses it's authority. Now they can see first hand. Go after them, Donaldson, and make us all proud.
  • by Anon Location: Coffee County on Aug 25, 2008 at 07:44 PM
    This is sad. Mr. Hardin has cleaned up a mess at Coffee COunty DHR and created a much better, productive environment. His desire to put children's safety first is admired and I certainly hope that this ends soon. He is vital to this community and the changes are necessary. Change is never easy, but welcomed when it has everyone's best interests in mind. To see Mr. Hardin leave the area would be a sad day for DHR and Coffee County.
  • by RALT Location: ELBA AL on Aug 23, 2008 at 01:36 PM
  • by Anonymous Location: Enterprise on Aug 21, 2008 at 07:08 PM
    This whole mess boils down to a disgruntled employee who has Mr. Donaldson on that person's side. Since Mr. Hardin became the Director of Coffee County DHR, there has been nothing but improvements in case load management and overall statistics. Director Hardin also ensures that AL policy is being followed accordingly-something that was a very rare practice prior to his employment there. I agree w/ Ernie in the sense that Doug Donaldson needs to be removed immediately from the Board but not all board members are against Mr. Hardin and they need to be heard too. The Board of Directors is for advisory purposes only. Did you get that Mr. Donaldson?-You do NOT run Coffee County DHR-the Director does and the sooner you realize that it will be better for the employees of DHR who can then move on and continue to do right by the children and families of Coffee County!
  • by Ernie Location: New Brockton on Aug 20, 2008 at 07:50 PM
    Why is the chairman of the Coffee Co. DHR Advisory Board, Doug Donaldson, after the DHR Director, Mr. Brandon Hardin; are Mr. Hardin's changes at DHR hitting a little too close to home, perhaps? Mr. Hardin has accomplished a great deal of good for children under his department's purview since arriving to take over Coffee Co. DHR. Employee changes since his arrival have had tremendous positive impact on DHR actions concerning children and families. As a Coffee Co. foster parent, I can attest that foster children in this county have never had a leader as concerned about doing the right thing for them, and ensuring his employees strive to do the same, as Mr. Hardin. Mr. Donaldson and the other board members need to be replaced immediately by Coffee County commissioners. These idiots' collective arrogance at holding illegal meetings to knowingly attempt to conduct actions beyond their authority is representative of everything that is wrong with local politics. Remove them NOW!
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