For example an e-mail from Peter Langley, director of the Senate Majority Policy Office, sent on December 6, reads: "The House is having Republican staff report to the House gallery for the day — something to consider for our side."“We should never forget the underhanded way in which the legislation was adopted,” says Patrick Devlin, secretary-treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, in a statement. “One of the most important pieces of legislation in Michigan history was adopted on a fast-track, in a lame-duck session behind closed doors without public input. It was outrageous.
On Dec. 10, Ralph Fiebig Jr. a House Republican constituent relations staff member, sent an e-mail inviting all constituent relations staff to meet him at the Capitol the next morning. He wrote: "I would like everyone to get there before 6:55 a.m. in case they allow us to enter before 7 a.m. That way, we may be able to get up the stairs to the gallery entrance and in the front line before the public is allowed to enter the building."
Another Republican staffer, Jennifer Kaminski, texted: "Speaker had staff go sit in the gallery this morning to take up space."
Defendants in the case have argued in court filings that Michigan's Open Meetings Act wasn't violated because "the public and lawmakers were always able to communicate with each other, media were present to report on the proceedings and temporarily locking the doors was necessary for public safety," the Detroit Free Press reports.
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