Brownsville mayor speaks on closed-door ‘mistake’
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BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — Controversy erupts in Brownsville after some believe the Mayor may have broken the law behind closed doors. Tuesday night, he took steps to correct that mistake. Mayor Bill Rawls was accused of breaking the law by leading a vote behind closed doors, last week. Rawls called it an accident. During the previous meeting, a portion of the meeting was closed to the public to discuss a possible lawsuit that involved the police department. Afterward, the mayor admitted during that meeting a vote was held on an unrelated matter. The state Sunshine Law states all votes must be public, and secret votes are prohibited. “It was discussed and talked about in our board meeting, but we’re re-ratifying everything to everybody’s pleasure,” said Mayor Rawls. According to state law, there are few consequences to violating the Sunshine Law. However, any action taken during the closed meeting is considered void, and there must be new talk of the issues publicly. Talk on the previous closed session vote occurred during the meeting, Tuesday. The mayor said the vote was to change names on a city bank account to reflect current city board members. Residents said they hope this type of mistake doesn’t happen again. “He’s admitting tonight that he did wrong, and he’s ready to move on,” said Tina Jackson, resident The Mayor said he will continue to have an open door policy at city hall, and encouraged residents to join future meetings to find out what’s happening in their city.