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Formal Complaints


Darian Garrett/Bloomfield City Council - Dismissal Order


The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Darian Garrett, Complainant

And Concerning:

Bloomfield City Council,  Respondent


                     Case Number: 17FC:0093                                 

                         DISMISSAL ORDER


COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order:

On December 20, 2017, Darian Garrett filed formal complaint 17FC:0093 against the City of Bloomfield (City).  He alleged that the City violated Iowa Code chapter 21 by taking final action in a closed session on December 7, 2018.  The agenda for that meeting indicated that a closed session would be held to evaluate a city employee pursuant to Iowa Code section 21.5(1)(i).

Mr. Garrett alleged that the next morning the Mayor announced that the City had decided to offer a five year contract to the city administrator. Mr. Garrett alleged that the only way this could have occurred was for the City to take final action during the closed session.

The City responded that the council had gone into closed session, but that no final action was taken.  Instead, after the closed session, a press release was drafted and approved concerning the city administrator’s employment agreement.  The press release may have conveyed the impression that final action was taken, but the intent was to provide notice that the agreement would be reviewed at a future council meeting.

The City provided a copy of the recording to IPIB staff for confidential review pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.6(6).  Upon review of the closed session recording, it was apparent that there were no violations of Iowa Code chapter 21, open meetings law.

There are no facts to believe that a violation of Chapter 21 occurred.

Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint.  This complaint does not fulfill those requirements.


IT IS SO ORDERED:  Formal complaint 17FC:0093 is dismissed as legally insufficient  pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b).

Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.”  The IPIB will review this Order on March 15, 2018. Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.


By the IPIB Executive Director



Margaret E. Johnson, J.D.


Dated this _____ day of _______, 2018.


Cc:  Darian Garrett

       City of Bloomfield