Future meetings of SUNY food service, bookstore opened

NEW YORK ‘ A New York state trial court judge has ruled that a group that runs a campus food service and bookstore at the State University of New York at Albany is in violation of the open-meetings law and must open future meetings to the public.

It was a partial victory for Tony Gray, a SUNY student, who sued University Auxiliary Services in February 2002 after being denied access to board meetings. Gray had asked the court to rule that the organization is a public body, which would require it to hold open meetings, and to declare a vote to make the price of food invalid because it took place during a closed meeting.

In his July 24 ruling, Judge Thomas McNamara declared the organization a public body because it was acting on behalf of a governmental body to perform essential services. But McNamara denied Gray’s request for a refund, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired on the minutes of a May meeting, in which the organization voted to raise the prices.