U has prepared response to media legal action

by Brad Unangst

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said the institution has prepared its response to allegations that the Board of Regents openly defied Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law and Data Practices Act by making secret any meetings since Nov. 4 involving the presidential search.

The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County District Court on Friday by lawyers for five media organizations including The Minnesota Daily, asks for the regents to release the names of the candidates, admit they willfully broke the law, and legally establish that the board cannot hold closed meetings regarding presidential searches.

“We understand the law and we will respond and defend this case aggressively,” Rotenberg said.

Mark Anfinson, an attorney for the defendants, said the University has 20 days to file its answer to the complaint.

“The point of the suit is not so much to punish anybody, as it is to establish once and for all when the University’s president is selected that these laws need to be followed,” Anfinson said.