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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
5:08 AM Fri, Dec. 14th

Hat dispute not an Open Meetings violation, AG says

The Arizona Attorney General's Office says Mohave County did not violate the state's Open Meeting Law when it required a Golden Valley gentleman to remove his hat even though he had a prescription from his doctor.

Fred Williams said he sat down in the auditorium about 5 to 10 minutes before an October 2010 meeting of the Board of Supervisors was about to begin and was approached by a county employee. The employee told him to remove his hat.

Williams wears a hat because he suffers from severe headaches, which can be triggered by sitting for too long in a very cold room.

He said he showed the employee the doctor's note and was told he needed to remove his hat or leave. The county's dress code policy states that exceptions to the hat rule can be made for religious or medical reasons.

Williams left in order to avoid disrupting the meeting but didn't give up. He contacted the Arizona Attorney General's Office about the situation.

More than a year later and after a few phone calls, the office responded with a letter stating that the county had not violated the state's Open Meeting Law and had requested that the Board receive additional Open Meeting Law training. According to the letter, the office has confirmation that county officials have received training.