Attorney General's Opinion 1969-70 #316A
October 29, 1969
HONORABLE T. B. P. DAVIS,
Commonwealth's Attorney for Greene County
This is in reply to your inquiry of October 21, 1969, as to
whether a board of welfare may properly hold an executive session at
the direction of the Superintendent of the board any preclude
attendance by members of the board of supervisors. You state that the
executive session was desired because "questions involving
personalities were to be on the agenda."
Pertinent to your inquiry is § 2.1-344 of the Virginia Code.
This section is part of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and
specifies the instances in which a public body may hold executive
sessions from which the public is excluded. The act is made
applicable to county boards of welfare by § 2.1-341(a). You will
note that § 2.1-344(7)(b) specifies that an executive session
may be held only upon a recorded affirmative vote to that effect.
Therefore, a public body subject to the act may not go into executive
session merely at the direction of the presiding officer thereof.
Executive sessions may be held only for those purposes set forth
in § 2.1-344. In this connection I direct your attention to
§ 2.1-344(3) of the act which reads as follows:
"Executive or closed meetings may be held only for the following
* * *
"(3) The protection of the privacy of individuals in personal
matters not related to public business."
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