KCC doesn’t want media watching open meeting

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.