Tue, 9:33am: Judge orders Ohio township to pay in meetings case

LEBANON (AP) – A judge has ordered a township government in southwest Ohio to pay nearly $200,000 in attorney fees in an open-meetings lawsuit.

The lawyers sued Clearcreek Township in Hamilton County in 2011. They claimed the trustees regularly met before public meetings from 2009 to 2011 to work out their positions on issues.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Judge James Flannery ordered the township last week to pay the attorney fees on behalf of resident Jack Chrisman, who sued the trustees.

Emily Grannis, a lawyer with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, says it’s a large award for this kind of litigation.

Officials said the attorney fees would be paid from township funds because insurance coverage has been exhausted.