Official secrets | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Official secrets

Posted By on Tue, Jun 6, 2006 at 5:21 PM

Add the state Game and Fish Commission to those public agencies that  like to do business in private.

An attorney general's opinion today by Mike Beebe said, as we'd argued all along, that law enforcement agency incident reports are generally public information. He did say that some court rulings indicate you can argue that some parts of such reports might be kept secret if part of ongoing investigations. They intend to do that. But we have our ways.

The question here arose over a wildlife officer's unfriendly encounter in the woods of Scott County with former Federal Marshal Ray Carnahan. Carnahan has told friends he tried to drive away from a man driving erratically on an all-terrain vehicle some months ago. Turns out the man was a wildlife officer, who gave chase and said Carnahan at one point refused his order to stop. Harsh words ensued.

This set a string of events in motion, we're told. Carnahan and his son, Chris, former director of the Arkansas Republican Party, reportedly tried to pressure Game and Fish to discipline the wildlife officer. That got Game and Fish's back up. A federal investigation was begun in the Western District of Arkansas. Carnahan told investigators the wildlife officer hadn't instructed him to stop. Big mistake. Apparently some evidence to the contrary (it's rumored to be a tape of radio traffic) exists. Refusing to obey a wildlife officer is maybe a misdemeanor. Lying to a federal investigator? Ask Martha Stewart.

The story is that Carnahan has been named in charges not yet released. The knowledge of those charges forced his resignation as U.S. marshal in late April. Arraignment day is scheduled Thursday in Fort Smith, unless Carnahan decides to cut a deal. But, if he thinks he's done no wrong, he may risk facing a serious charge for principle.

This would almost be funny if it wasn't such a sad example of how egos can blown out of control. Carnahan was in a suit and taking his aged mother, a grandhild and other family members on an outing from a nursing home. The wildlife officer was looking for bear poachers when he came upon the SUV-load of Carnahans.

But back to Game and Fish. We had FOI'ed their records on this incident weeks ago. They refused and asked for the a.g.'s opinion. Despite Beebe's opinion today, they didn't release their file on the case. Tomorrow, we're told. But we're told to expect that some of it will be redacted. Game and Fish claims it has an on-going investigation in this matter. Of what, we can't imagine. The feds have completed their investigation. The Game and Fish officer may be a witness, but he wouldn't appear to be the investigator. A variety of sources have provided this account to us. Carnahan has not returned our call.


Favorite

Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Saturday's open line, plus some political notes

    The Saturday open line, with some political odds and ends:
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • Obamacare's ruin: Where are the boastful press releases from Arkansas Republicans?

    Silence so far from Republican politicians such as Leslie Rutledge on achievement of their long-stated dream, death to the Affordable Care Act. Could that be because most people now understand what a good thing President Obama did with its passage? Update: Rutledge applauds and offers empty promise of coverage.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • Entergy demolishes old power plant near Stamps

    Entergy, the state's largest electric utility, yesterday used explosives to destroy the major parts of its closed Couch Plant near Stamps, which dated to 1943 and was designed to burn fuel oil or gas at two generating units. Named for power company founder Harvey Couch, it's been out of commission since 2013.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Presidential thriller, co-author Bill Clinton, coming to bookstores in 2018

    June 2018 is the expected publication date for a novel collaboration by former President Bill Clinton and crime writer James Patterson.
    • May 9, 2017
  • Former Arkansas Baptist professor 'exploring' run for Little Rock Ward 7 city director

    Edmond "Ed" Davis, a former professor at Arkansas Baptist College and the executive director of a school applying for a charter in Southwest Little Rock, will announce the formation of an exploratory committee for a campaign for the Little Rock city director Ward 7 position. Brenda "B.J." Wyrick has held the position since 1994.
    • Apr 3, 2018
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation