Attorney General completes investigation into City

YUMA, Ariz. – 13 formal complaints and several months later, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has wrapped up its investigation into the City of Yuma.

Mayor Doug Nicholls responded, “And so we received the Attorney General’s opinion and what their recommendations or conclusions were.”

Every complaint has been dismissed except for one. In March 2014, the City failed to provide the public with a City Council meeting agenda 24 hours in advance, a deadline barely missed.

“The posting in one of our meetings was 20 minutes late,” Nicholls said.

During the investigation, the AG’s Office reports the City did not provide enough information for a description in a public notice about an executive session. That meeting took place in April of last year. Nicholls said the AG Office’s findings will have no long term effects on the City of Yuma.

“Some members of the community have been looking to claim that there’s something wrong. It validates that the majority of those items are not wrong. The way we were doing them is correct, so for that position, it’s good to have it validated by the Attorney’s General’s Office,” Nicholls said.

In a letter received by the City Attorney on Monday, Assistant Attorney General Christopher Munns wrote, “The violations demonstrate that the Council and some of its staff are unfamiliar with the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. The circumstances of the case do not support a conclusion that the Council acted intentionally to conceal information from the public.”

The AG’s office recommended City Council members receive additional training pertaining to the state’s open meeting law. They face no other penalty or fee.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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