Rapping reporter settles city suits, lands law school scholarship
11:29 am, March 25th, 2013
The publisher of an online news site who, despite no formal legal training, won a Georgia Supreme Court decision forcing the Atlanta City Council to stop holding unrecorded votes has dismissed his claims, declaring total victory and pocketing a total of $1,000 to cover his expenses.
Matthew Cardinale, the 31-year-old webmaster and main reporter for the Atlanta Progressive News website, was beaming last week as he entered the Fulton County Courthouse to file his notice of dismissal.
In 2010, Cardinale filed suit against the city arguing that members of the City Council violated the state Open Meetings Act by failing to record the names and votes of members during a retreat in 2010.
Arguing his own case, Cardinale failed to persuade a Fulton County judge and the Georgia Court of Appeals that the law mandated that such votes be recorded, but in February 2012 a narrowly divided Georgia Supreme Court agreed with Cardinale, earning praise from state Attorney General Sam Olens and other open government advocates.
In 2012, Cardinale filed another suit claiming that the City Council routinely violated the law by closing committee briefings to the public. Earlier this year, the council’s seven committee chairs voluntarily agreed to open all briefings to the public.