FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Former Chief Justice John Holstein issued his findings today regarding the alleged misconduct by Councilmember Kristi Fulnecky during a Nov. 24 closed meeting. I speak for those members of City Council who signed the letter to the Mayor asking for the investigation into certain allegations regarding Ms. Fulnecky’s qualifications for office. We stand by our decision to engage an objective third party (as set out in the City Code) to look into the potential matters of ethical misconduct of a City Council member. Once Council knew Ms. Fulnecky recorded what we believe to be a properly closed meeting and turned the recording over to news media and others, we had an obligation to pursue the matter. According to attorney Kevin O’Keefe, Judge Holstein rejected each of Ms. Fulnecky's assertions that the Council could not hold a closed meeting for the reasons given for the Nov. 24 meeting. Judge Holstein rejected Ms. Fulnecky's assertion that notice of the Nov. 24 meeting was not posted in a timely manner as required by the Sunshine Law (as did the Attorney General's office). Judge Holstein rejected in no uncertain terms (using the word "sophistry") Ms. Fulnecky's claim that the Council knew or consented to her recording. Judge Holstein rightly observed that Ms. Fulnecky's recording of her fellow Council members was at the very least "disrespectful" conduct on her part. “I appreciate that Judge Holstein agreed that the Council had a right to consult with legal counsel without Ms. Fulnecky being present. But I respectfully disagree that any law requires a public body to give notice of a meeting to a member who cannot legally attend or participate in that meeting,” said O’Keefe. O’Keefe continued, “I respect that Judge Holstein approached his responsibilities with sincerity and dedication. My analysis, however, leads me to reach a different conclusion. Why would we invite someone to a meeting they cannot attend? The Nov. 24 meeting was scheduled to assist the rest of City Council and the City in regard to assertions by Ms. Fulnecky and her legal team. ” Ms. Fulnecky was not invited to the meeting because she had already obtained personal legal counsel and this meeting was identified by the City Attorney as an “adverse proceeding” (not necessitating an invitation). The purpose of the Nov. 24 meeting was for the remaining City Council members to meet with special legal counsel. No confidential information was discussed during her appearance at the meeting, because the purpose of the meeting was to confidentially discuss potential litigation associated with Ms. Fulnecky. While Ms. Fulnecky testified under oath that she made it clear she was recording the meeting, the other Council members present were not aware and did not give consent. As Judge Holstein pointed out, that action was disrespectful and ‘to conclude that holding her cell phone in the air amounted to a “formal” authorization to record or to pass the recording on to the news media would be sophistry.’ We believe her defense in this matter zeroes in on a technicality and her appearance at this meeting and release to the media was intended to thwart the investigation into the question of her qualifications to take the oath of office. City Council appreciates Judge Holstein’s detailed attention to this matter.