On Tuesday, a state prosecutor said that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback did not violate the state’s opening meetings law when he hosted private dinners for legislators at his residence. The findings from Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor were released on Tuesday following an investigation that took seven months. It was regarding seven dinner meetings held in January for 13 legislative committees. Over 90 lawmakers, mostly Republican, were invited to the private dinners.
The dinners were described as social meetings that were heavy with small talk, according to some of the guests. Also, Brownback and his aides said they were positive that they did not break any laws with the meetings. Brownback did admit that he had the meetings in order to talk about his legislative agenda and answer questions.
Had the Taylor found Brownback’s meetings as illegal, they would have come with civil charges, not criminal charges. If Brownback was charged, he could have been fined $500 per meeting. Taylor had a complaint filed about Brownback in January by an attorney for the Topeka Capital-Journal. The law that came into question, the Kansas Open Meetings Act, permits the attorney general to subpoena documents and witnesses while also compelling witnesses to answer questions while under oath.