JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources must pay a $5,000 fine for violating the Sunshine Law after it took members of the Clean Water Commission on a tour of hog farms without proper public notice.
Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce on Wednesday ordered the department to pay the fine to the Cole County School Fund. The DNR also must pay $18,706 in attorney's fees to Friends of Responsible Agriculture, a group that fought a 10,000-sow hog breeding operation in western Callaway County.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the fine for a purposeful violation was the largest fine allowed by the law.
In her ruling, Joyce wrote that the agency conducted the tours without notice to prevent members of the opposition group from attending.