Charges were dropped against the citizen who was arrested after asking members of an industrial development board in Greene County to speak up in a public meeting so citizens could hear, news outlets in East Tennessee have reported.
Eddie Overholt was among several citizens at the July 18 meeting who were interested in the board’s efforts to help an industrial plant who wanted to draw and discharge water into the Nolichucky River.
Although the room had microphones, the board members did not use them. After Overholt’s arrest, 59 complaints about a potential violation of the Open Meetings Act were filed with the state’s Office of Open Records Counsel, Elisha Hodge.
Hodge wrote a letter to the industrial development board’s chairman and told him that meetings must be audible to be in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
You can read about the issues related to the industrial development board’s actions in our blog post: “Tennessee Open Meetings Act more than a checklist.” You can also read about a lawsuit filed by citizens alleging a different Open Meetings Act violation related to the same industrial plant in Greene County.