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A mural depicting Alton Sterling and teddy bears at a memorial near where he was killed during an incident with Baton Rouge Police almost a year ago, on July 5, 2016, outside the Triple S Food Mart on North Foster Drive. Photographed June 28, 2017.

A local activist is suing the East Baton Rouge Metro Council, claiming it violated Louisiana's open meetings law when it offered a $4.5 million settlement to the family of Alton Sterling. The attorney general's office recently said the panel approved the settlement properly.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Mary Jane Marcantel asks the 19th Judicial District Court to void any action taken by the Metro Council in its Feb. 10 meeting — including the vote to approve the Sterling settlement. The lawsuit comes a few weeks after state Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office issued an opinion rejecting claims Marcantel previously made to his office in a 17-page complaint.

Marcantel, a paralegal by trade, argues in her lawsuit that the council violated open meetings law by posting the notice and agenda for the February meeting at different times and failing to note where the council would meet.

The legal arguments in the lawsuit are narrower than what Marcantel submitted to Landry’s office two months ago, when she also accused the council of mishandling agenda amendments and questioned whether the executive-session discussions fell within the scope of the agenda item.

Landry wrote in a letter to the city-parish that his office found no evidence of legal violations in the February meeting.

“After considering the circumstances included in the original complaint and the information submitted we have determined that there is insufficient cause for the Attorney General’s Office to institute enforcement proceedings under the Open Meetings Law,” Landry wrote.

While the legal battle plays out, Metro Council awaits the Sterling family’s response to its settlement offer. The family has the option of accepting a five-year payment plan for the $4.5 million, with $1 million paid up front and the rest spread out over the remaining four years. Or, it can take its chances in a jury trial.

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Baton Rouge Metro Council rejects changes to Alton Sterling settlement; here's what that means

The high-profile lawsuit was originally scheduled to go to trial on March 1, but the date got pushed back to June 21 after the Louisiana Supreme Court extended a moratorium on jury trials due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sterling was fatally shot in 2016 by Baton Rouge police responding to a complaint of a man with a gun outside a convenience store on North Foster Drive. Widespread protests followed after cellphone video of the encounter spread online.

The lawsuit, filed in 2017, seeks punitive damages against the city-parish for allegedly violating Sterling's civil rights. It also claims the city-parish was negligent in hiring, training and supervising Blane Salamoni, the officer who fired the six bullets that killed Sterling, who was armed.

Police Chief Murphy Paul, who was not leading the department at the time of the shooting, later said Salamoni should never have been hired.

Federal and state prosecutors declined to press charges against the officers.