Supreme Court rules against fired public TV execs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The state Supreme Court is ordering a judge to dismiss an open meetings lawsuit filed by two Alabama Public Television executives who were fired last year.

The justices ruled against Allan Pizzato and Pauline Howland on Friday.

The court says the two don’t have a legal right to file suit claiming members of the television commission violated Alabama’s open meetings lawsuit with a closed-door meeting before their dismissals.

A lawyer for Pizzato and Howland says the decision is a setback for open government in Alabama, and one justice says the ruling effectively neuters Alabama’s open meetings law.

Pizzato claimed he was fired after opposing Christian-themed programming on the network. His dismissal preceded a wave of resignations from public television boards.

A Jefferson County judge previously let the case move forward.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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