Iowa Public Radio has settled two lawsuits with a former Board of Regents member who alleged the network violated Iowa’s Open Meetings law.
Michael Gartner, who owns the Iowa Cubs, filed the suits against IPR and several directors in May and June.
Polk County District Court Judge Larry McLellan determined IPR violated the Open Meetings law during two meetings in December and February and is requiring no further violations for five years, according to the order and judgment filed Friday in Polk County.
Former IPR board chairwoman Kay Runge, who resigned from the board last month, would have been required to leave the board as part of the judgment. Steve Firman, of Cedar Falls, will become chairman and University of Northern Iowa Provost Gloria Gibson will be vice chair.
IPR agreed to air daily public service announcements for six months promoting Iowa’s new Public Information Board, which addresses concerns about possible violations of Iowa’s Open Records and Open Meetings laws.
The PSAs will alternate between Morning Edition from 6-8 a.m. one week and All Things Considered from 4-6 p.m. another week. IPR must also run an announcement each weekend day.
IPR must pay Gartner $35,715 toward his legal costs.
“I sued Iowa Public Radio and certain board members for the simple reason that I think the Open Meetings Law is a great thing for the people of the state and that it can be ignored only at the peril of board members, a lesson I learned while serving on the Board of Regents,” Gartner wrote in his “civic skinny” column in Cityview, a Des Moines publication.
Gartner was regents president in November 2006 when the board was criticized for secrecy surrounding the University of Iowa presidential search. He served on the board from 2005 to 2011.