Charges in open meetings case will move forward

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. (AP) - A judge has refused to drop misdemeanor charges against three members of a city council in southwestern Michigan who are accused of violating the state's open meetings law.

Defense attorney Anne Buckleitner says there's "zero" evidence of wrongdoing. But Berrien County Judge Gary Bruce says that will be determined at trial. He held a hearing Monday.

Peter Weber, Donna Messinger and George Scarlitis are accused of agreeing to fire the New Buffalo city manager in private last summer, 12 days before the act was carried out at a public meeting in August. The vote was 3-2.

If convicted, they could face fines of up to $1,000.

The Herald-Palladium says the judge suggested the council members should each have their own lawyer to avoid conflicts.

Published: Wed, Dec 31, 2014