On October 15 a group of county attorneys met with representatives from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) as part of MACo’s annual Administrators and Attorneys Conference. The two sets of attorneys shared thoughts and concerns over recent and pending legal issues and discussed ways to improve communication and the opinion process.
OAG was represented by: (1) Adam Snyder, Chief Counsel, Opinions, Advice and Legislation Division; (2) H. Scott Curtis, Counsel, Office of Courts and Judicial Affairs; (3) Ann MacNeille, Assistant Attorney General, Open Meetings Compliance Board; and (4) Amanda Conn, Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Department of Planning.
The attorneys discussed ways to improve the OAG opinion process, including how to better alert counties of pending opinion requests that could have a county impact. They also discussed the challenges of determining when a complaint against a sheriff’s department is handled by the county and when it is handled by the state.
Ms. MacNeile described the process the Open Meetings Compliance Board uses to refer citizen questions about open meetings to local governments. She also noted that there are currently no open meetings complaints against county governments. Ms. Conn reviewed issues arising from two letters of advice concerning PlanMaryland. She also offered to discuss her legal perspective on the septic system legislation with any county that wanted to call her office.
The county attorneys also met separately to discuss recent and pending legal issues of county interest.