In the Kennett Township's Special Press Statement of 12/20/21, Supervisor Richard Leff claimed that "THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF KENNETT TOWNSHIP ARE STRONGLY IN SUPPORT OF EDEN RATLIFF. The Kennett Township Supervisors solidly support Eden Ratliff against these unfair and personal attacks”. The prominent appearance of Kennett Township Supervisors in the signature line reinforces the impression that the Supervisors were unanimous in their support.
This has since proven to be false. At a special meeting of the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors (KT-BOS) on 12/28/21, Supervisor Scudder Stevens read a prepared statement clarifying that he was NOT present at the meeting held on 12/20/21 to craft the special press statement. It is clear that Stevens played no part in drafting the press release, despite Leff’s claims of unanimity.
The manner in which the special press statement was crafted is also controversial. In his prepared statement. Stevens also noted that he considers this meeting to have been illegal, and submitted a letter to this effect for inclusion in the minutes. Specifically, he noted that the decision to hold this meeting outside of public view was likely a violation of the Sunshine Law, which specifies that meetings at which supervisors deliberate or make decisions MUST be public unless they pertain to legal or personnel matters.
It is also worth noting that KTs Counsel did not initially include the 12/20/21 meeting amongst the list of Executive Session meetings announced at the 12/28/21 KT-BOS meeting. In other words, we never would have known that Supervisors Leff and Hoffman had met on 12/20/21 had Stevens not commented. In effect, Leff and Hoffman had tried cover up the fact that they had met to discuss and deliberate on township matters. This raises a critical question: have there been any other instances in which Leff and Hoffman discussed or deliberated about important township provisions, via secret meetings or even via email, outside of the public view, in violation of the Sunshine Act.