Forrest Co. Board adopts ordinance banning recording of executive sessions

Forrest Co. Board adopts ordinance banning recording of executive sessions

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Forrest County Board of Supervisors recently adopted an ordinance that prohibits recording devices during executive sessions

The ordinance was adopted during a meeting on Tuesday and also states that any distribution or publication of any recording of an executive session is hereby prohibited.

The penalty for such actions are a misdemeanor and can result in up to a $500 fine and any second or subsequent offenses can bring up to a $1,000 fine.

This ordinance was passed after an executive session was recorded by an individual without the consent of the board on April 24.

"There was an AG's opinion from several years ago where the AG was asked whether or not any recordings made in a executive session were public record," said Forrest County Board of Supervisors attorney David Miller. "The AG basically said there shouldn't be any recordings, and that basically defeats the purpose of the statute. Frankly, it had just not ever come up before and it did back in April. So the board felt like it was something that needed to be addressed."

The ordinance goes into effect 30 calendar days from its publication.