Woman sues to get public comment into county council meeting

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A woman sued the Greenville County Council, saying it is violating open meeting laws by not setting aside time during virtual meetings for public comment.

The County Council typically sets aside 30 minutes at the end of meetings for residents to speak on any topic in three-minute blocks. But that practice stopped when the council started meeting virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faith Adedokun decided to sue the council under the South Carolina open meeting slaw after the county approved a plan to spend $91 million in federal COVID-19 relief money with no public input.

The council does allow public comment for items on its agenda.

Adedokun’s lawsuit asks the Greenville County Council to set up a remote location where people without internet access can watch meetings and sign up to comment, similar to the setup by the Greenville City Council.

People who do speak should also be on camera if possible so council members and the audience can see their faces, Adedokun said.

Greenville County has said it thinks how it conducts virtual meetings follow the state’s open records law.

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