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Posted at 04:21 PM ET, 10/27/2009

Council meets behind closed doors

The D.C. Council is having a meeting in Chairman Vincent C. Gray's (D) conference room, but members will not let reporters view the discussions.

When a Washington Post reporter opened the door to try to enter, citing the open meetings law, Gray told the reporter to leave. Gray said the meeting dealt with a "personnel matter" and was not open to the public.

Another reporter from The Washington Post and one from the Washington Times also tried to enter a few minutes later, but were told that the members were "not conducting official business."

According to the DC code, "All meetings (including hearings) of any department, agency, board, or commission of the District government, including meetings of the Council of the District of Columbia, at which official action of any kind is taken shall be open to the public."

Gray's chief of staff said today's meeting is private because official action wasn't taking place.

In 2006, legislation that would have prevented such closed-door meetings died after the council voted 7 to 6 to send the bill back to committee for review. Gray, at that time, cast the deciding vote.

In July, the council took some heat for conducting its budget negotiations behind closed doors, although they did allow reporters to watch most of the proceedings.

-- Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  04:21 PM ET, 10/27/2009

Categories:  Tim Craig, Tim Craig

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