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After a judge ruled Monday that the Mountain Accord was a public body subject to the state's Open and Public Meetings Act, several Salt Lake County Council members plan to ask the state auditor for "a full accounting" of the entity.
"The public was deprived from knowledge," Councilman Richard Snelgrove charged, calling for a forensic audit.
Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton, a fellow Republican, and Councilman Sam Granato, a Democrat, said they'd sign the letter to state Auditor John Dougall to look into work behind the regional planning process involving public and private groups seeking to guide development, transportation and other issues impacting the Wasatch Mountains. Snelgrove said Chairman Steve DeBry would also sign.
The lawsuit was filed in January by residents and landowners in Big Cottonwood Canyon who said they were blocked from meaningful participation in the planning process, which they said cost $8 million.
Attorneys for the landowners argued the government groups involved tried skirting the open meetings law by adding private entities, but that the process should be open because it involved public resources.
Proponents of the Mountain Accord effort, including County Mayor Ben McAdams, said the work was collaborative and meetings were open to anyone in the public.
Third District Court Judge Laura Scott agreed with the canyon-landowner plaintiffs, ruling on Monday that "Mountain Accord is a 'public body' subject to the requirements of the" open meetings law.
Dougall has already once weighed in on the matter, writing in an October letter he believed the group was subject to disclosure laws.
McAdams's staff said the mayor "welcomes a review of the Mountain Accord initiative," and noted the group's financial information is available on its website.