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Private Luncheon Doesn’t Violate Pa. Sunshine Law, Phila. Councilmembers Insist

(Philadelphia City Council members enjoy a private luncheon at the Capital Grille, in center city.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Philadelphia City Council members enjoy a private luncheon at the Capital Grille, in center city. Credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was lunch at a swanky center city Philadelphia restaurant today for a majority of City Council members.  They insisted no official business was being discussed, and kept reporters from entering.

At the Capital Grille, at Broad and Chestnut Streets, a private luncheon took place in a very private room from which reporters were barred.

Ten current councilmembers joined in the luncheon.

“We’re just talking about holiday activities and different things that are going on in the community,” insisted councilman-at-large Jim Kenney.  “That’s all.  No deliberations of anything.”

(Dunn:)  “No deliberations?”

(Kenney:)  “There’s nothing to deliberate.  It’s a bunch of people getting together and have a lunch for the holiday.”

The ten members present constituted a majority of current councilmembers, and the state’s Sunshine Act stipulates that anytime a quorum is present, the meeting should be open to the public.

Also at the lunch were four of six incoming councilmembers who will be sworn in on January 2nd.

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