The New Orleans Civil Service Commission unexpectedly approved two changes to city personnel rules Monday after a closed-door executive session. But in an unusual move for a public body, commission members declined to explain exactly what the changes accomplished, and they wouldn’t confirm after the meeting who voted for or against the changes.
The changes seem aimed at addressing concerns raised in a lawsuit against the commission contending that overhauls of city employment rules in August — which gave managers more flexibility in hiring decisions — violated the state constitution.
The agenda for the meeting said only that the board would meet in private to discuss that lawsuit, an exception allowed by the state’s Open Meetings Law. But when the public portion of the meeting reconvened, members added the two changes to the agenda without explanation. Such late additions are allowed under state sunshine laws, but public bodies are expected to explain why the additions were necessary and unanticipated.
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