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November 16, 2011

Tape recording of PERB hearing not permitted

Tape recording of PERB hearing not permitted
Town of Shelter Island v. PBA, Cases U-3538; 3569

A PERB Hearing Officer ruled that a PERB improper practice charge hearing could not be taped when a newspaper and television reporters came to the hearing at the invitation of the employer. On appeal, PERB found the employer’s reliance on the State’s Open Meetings Law “misplaced” as Section 103 of the Public Officers Law exempts quasi-judicial.

In contrast, the Court in People v. Ystueta, 99 Misc 2d 1105, held that the State Comptroller’s Opinion (78 Op St Comp 457) allowing local governments to prohibit the recording of its “regular meetings” on a tape recorder is not binding on the Court, indicating that such a prohibition violates public policy and the principles underlying Section 95 of the Public Officers Law.

Exclusion of the public from collective bargaining sessions conducted pursuant to the Taylor Law, however, is permitted (Section 100, Public Officers Law).

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