At the same meeting this week that the Kansas Corporation Commission asked the Kansas Attorney General’s Office to defend it against charges that it violated the state’s open-meetings law, KCC staff shut down a videoconference feed of the open meeting to its Wichita office after an Eagle reporter tried to watch it. How fitting. The commission is facing a lawsuit filed by the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office over a process it has routinely used in which a staff attorney circulates a proposed order individually to commissioners and obtains their signatures indicating approval instead of holding a public vote. It voted Wednesday to stop that practice. This week the KCC also hired Kim Christiansen as its new executive director. She replaces Patti Petersen-Klein, who was forced out after an audit revealed serious management problems. In addition to pulling the KCC out of the ditch, Christiansen needs to make sure it follows the open-meetings law.
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