KCC to Ask State to Help in Open Meetings Case

The Kansas Corporation Commission will ask the state’s attorney general to defend it against a charge of violating the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

The commission also decided Tuesday to ask Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office to assess the agency’s open meetings practices but not to issue an opinion.

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor sued the commission last week, alleging it violated the open meetings law by deciding a water rate case for a small Salina utility without holding public meetings. On June 6, the commission approved a rate hike of more than 100 percent for about 65 customers of the Salina company.

The complaint against the KCC was filed by the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board, a state agency that represents residential and small-business utility customers.