Conway Discusses McCracken Zoning, MSU Board
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - In an interview Monday morning, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway discussed two issues currently affecting area residents: Zoning issues in McCracken County; and Murray State University's Board of Regents recent violation of Open Meetings laws, just prior to a vote to not extend the contract of President Randy Dunn.
The zoning matter involves land along Olivet Church Road and Harris Road in McCracken County that had been sold for construction of a Huck's convenience store. When the owner originally purchased the land, it had been zoned as commercial property. When he sold it, he learned it had been re-zoned as residential property. That action affected not only the value of his land, but that of other property owners as well. Further, most, if not all of the affected property owners, were unaware of the zoning changes.
"Some materials were forwarded to us," said Conway. "We actually reviewed the matter, and in the course of our investigation determined that if there were any criminal actions, they would have only been misdemeanors, and they would have been time-barred; meaning, the statute of limitations had already passed on it," Conway said.
He also stated that his office continues to look into the matter.
"We got an additional referral, it's been reported, from some of your local elected officials here in the last few weeks. We're in the process of reviewing additional information that's been sent up to us. Given that we're in the middle of an investigation, I can't comment on it any further."
In regard to MSU President Randy Dunn's contract, Conway said that a member of the Board of Regents confirmed that university business was discussed at a regent's home on March 14, the night before the board voted to not extend Dunn's contract.
"You can't hold a meeting like that and not provide the notice that the Kentucky Open Meetings Act requires. So that was the crux of our decision", said Conway.
He said the board took the appropriate action in having a subsequent meeting, to say they were going to re-vote in open session, and in open dialogue.
In regard to what happens after a detemination is made that a violation has occurred, Conway said, "...They're admonished to do it differently the next time. And if someone wants to void a decision that's been taken, then court action is required. In this instance, court action isn't required because they acknowledged the shortcoming, and discussed the business in open as it pertains to President Dunn's contract."
Randy Dunn's contract was not extended following the second vote, and he has accepted a job in Ohio as President of Youngstown University.