Judge makes decision in Sullivan County sunshine law case

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - Parents who accused Kingsport and Sullivan County officials of violating the state's open meetings law got a small victory in court Thursday.

Attorneys for both Kingsport and Sullivan County filed motions to dismiss the suit Thursday, and said  the group of leaders did not have the power to make decisions.

A Greene County judge hearing the case split on his decision. Judge Thomas Wright dismissed the suit against the Sullivan County Board of Education but left the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen as defendants in the suit.

Residents who brought the suit said the decision is a step in the right direction. "We the people need to know what's going on in Sullivan County and Kingsport behind closed doors," said plaintiff Angie Stanley. "We have the right to know what decisions that they are making whenever it comes to our kids education."

The case is not over and Sullivan County could be named as defendants again.  

Judge Wright told the plaintiffs if they find proof Sullivan County leaders took part in the meetings they could file to have them added back to the suit.

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