Even though SBOE members aren't judges and their forum isn't a court, the same reasons why ex parte communications aren't allowed in court proceedings could be valid at the SBOE, Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson, who focuses on election law and ethics, told Bloomberg BNA May 9.
In a court setting, neither side should have a direct link to the judge without the other side being present, she said.
“It's fair to ask ourselves if we should do it in this setting,” Levinson said. “With so few people availing themselves except for sophisticated taxpayers maybe it's not working.”
At a minimum, the meetings should be disclosed, Levinson said. Next, someone needs to be watching the disclosures.
“Mass disclosure only gets us part of the way there,” she said.