Anderson won't open grievance hearing for ex-chief

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ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — City officials in Anderson are refusing to open a former police chief's grievance hearing to the public even through the fired officer asked that reporters and residents be allowed to attend.

City attorney Frankie McClain told the Anderson Independent-Mail (http://bit.ly/QUa3yX ) that the grievance committee is not a public body because it does not include any City Council members nor does it answer to the body.

First Amendment lawyer Jay Bender says that does not matter. Bender says South Carolina's Freedom of Information Act says an employee involved in an adversarial hearing about his employment can demand that the hearing be open.

Police Chief Martin Brown was fired last month after the city investigated problems with officer turnover. His grievance hearing is scheduled Wednesday.

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Information from: Anderson Independent-Mail, http://www.andersonsc.com

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