The City of Noblesville violated the state's Open Door Law in February when it conducted an executive session to discuss the Nickel Plate Trail.

Indiana's Public Access Counselor, acting on a complaint filed by Michael Saner, an individual associated with Save the Nickel Plate, issued an opinion Oct. 2. In it, the counselor found the city's reason for conducting the executive session did not meet the requirements set out by Indiana Law, and the city did not provide adequate notification the meeting was to take place.

The city conceded it did not provide adequate notification. State law permits some public business to be conducted in private, however notification of an executive session must be made 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

In addition, the law only permits executive sessions to be conducted under certain circumstances.

The city claimed the February meeting met the executive session criteria of "Interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects or agents of industrial or commercial prospects by a governing body of a political subdivision."

Apparently the city did not conduct interviews or negotiations with prospects or agents.

"The City claims at the time of this executive session its officers believed that discussions of a general economic development nature were a permissible use of executive sessions," according the opinion.

The counselor's office found the "plain language of that subsection, however, expressly requires interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects or agents."

"It is difficult to understand how the City could interpret or believe that language to include general economic development discussions among itself," the opinion reads.

A statement released by the city Tuesday said the issue was a miscommunication.

"The issue was the result of some miscommunication and procedures were changed in the spring to ensure that the city fully complies with a strict interpretation of public access law."

No legal action will be taken against the city.

The Indiana Public Access Counselor is the state official responsible for providing advice and assistance concerning Indiana's public access laws, specifically the Access to Public Records Act and the Open Door Law, to members of the public and government officials and empl