DA: No open meeting violation for airport naming committee

Published On: Apr 01 2014 03:04:28 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 01 2014 03:26:08 PM CDT
Stranded passengers at Mid-Continent

The Wichita airport naming committee, who self-reported a lack of meeting notifications, did not violate the state's open meeting act.

Marc Bennett, Sedgwick County District Attorney, investigated whether the meetings in question were held without prior notification to the public. The group self-reported the violation last month, after the Wichita City Council voted to approve renaming Mid-Continent Airport to Dwight Eisenhower National Airport.

Council members created the naming committee Nov. 5, 2013 to study whether to rename the airport. A petition drive last fall urged city leaders to change the name, in honor of the former president and general who grew up in Kansas.

Two meetings were held Dec. 17, 2013 and Jan. 22, without prior notification to the public. The District Attorney's office found that the city did not receive any specific requests for meeting dates and times, nor were there any blanket requests for meeting notifications. 

"Absent a request for notification, a failure to give notice does not trigger a violation of the act," Bennett said in a statement.

The open meetings act is a rule city groups must follow in order to keep transparency between the people and community leaders.

Eyewitness News is looking into what this decision means for the airport's future. Expect more on air and online as it becomes available.