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A member of Salt Lake City's school board is suing his colleagues over what he believes were violations of Utah's open meetings laws.

Board member Michael Clara filed a lawsuit in Third District Court on Friday accusing his fellow board members of "mocking" the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act by innapropriately closing meetings to discuss public information.

Clara is not seeking monetary damages, but his lawsuit asks the court to declassify materials discussed in closed board meetings and to declare that board members violated the law.

"The bigger picture is the people's business needs to be done in public and that was the purpose of the lawsuit," Clara said Monday.

The lawsuit stems from two board meetings, one in August and one in September, during which Clara claims the board held closed meetings under the false guise of discussing litigation against the Salt Lake City School District and personnel issues.

Because the meetings were closed, Clara is prohibited from revealing what was discussed. But he said the discussion was not justified under the closed meeting provisions of the law.

"They claim they were talking about personnel and I'm saying that's not what they did," he said. "They talked to us about financial issues. We can't do that according to the Open Meetings Act."

Clara said his intention is to prevent further abuses from occuring in the future. But he also is asking the court to declare materials discussed during the closed meeting open for public review.

The first-term school board member said he has been working with a state lawmaker on a bill related to school bus safety and needs currently classified materials detailing repairs and other issues in Salt Lake City School District's bus fleet.

"I can't use that to help shape public policy and laws that allow me to address this problem that I'm seeing with school bus safety and the lack of oversight," Clara said.

School board president Kristi Swett said that she had not yet been notified of the lawsuit or received papers from the court on Monday.

Requests for comment from the school district were not returned.