The manner in which the West York council picked its newest member, Ronald "Skip" Franklin, might not have followed the letter of the law, said a legal expert.
Before the appointment, council members interviewed the six candidates in executive session, according to meeting minutes.
Seven people submitted applications or resumes, but one person did not attended the meeting.
According to the state's Sunshine Act, discussion or the appointment of someone cannot be discussion in executive session, said Melissa Melewsky, an attorney with the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.
The Sunshine Act "does not allow private discussion to fill a vacant office," she said.
During the closed-door meetings, officials can conduct quasi-judicial deliberations and can discuss litigation or possible litigation, the purchase or lease of land, labor relations and employee matters, according to the act.
Councilman Brian Wilson said he had apprehensions to holding the interviews out of view from the public but didn't say anything at the time. He added that he didn't raise the issue because the solicitor wasn't at the meeting to provide a legal opinion.
However, Wilson said the interviews should have been done before the public.
"If we are going to appoint someone to represent the residents, they (the residents) should be there for the interviews," he said.