Highway Commission meeting in secret UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Highway Commission meeting in secret UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM

The state Highway Commission began an executive session yesterday that continues through today and, from the distant seat where I sit, it would appear they haven't convened wholly legally.

A spokesman said the group went into executive session to discuss pay for the new agency director, Scott Bennett, and unspecified other matters. The FOI law is quite clear that a public board must announce a reason for an executive session and the reasons allowed are very specific — "considering employment, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation of any public officer or employee. The specific purpose of the executive session shall be announced in public before going into executive session."

I have reason to believe that the Commission might be discussing the huge mess uncovered by Legislative Audit — regular paid time off granted employees in the agency's legal division headed by chief counsel Robert Wilson outside agency work rules. I don't think the commission can have a general discussion on that practice or the audit findings, though it could decide, for example, whether to take action against an employee who'd approved extralegal practices.

I've filed an objection by e-mail to a meeting held for undisclosed purposes.

UPDATE: The Commission returned to public session toward the end of the noon hour. Developments:

* The Commission said Bennett would be paid $154,960 when he officially succeeds Dan Flowers Sept. 22. He's now acting director. Flowers made $157,430.

* Commission Chairman Madison Murphy announced that the commission had a discussion of "an employment matter related to a specific employee" but took no action. Perhaps on Sept. 9, when the Highway and Transportation Department has a date with Legislative Audit over the personal leave policy, we'll hear more about how the agency will respond to a finding of years of improper paid time-off practices.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Hear Our Voice: a message for politicians

    Hear Our Voice AR is holding an event from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at White Water Tavern at which participants write postcards to elected officials.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • New evidence brings a call for the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas

    Jill Abramson, writing in New York, says it's time to impeach Clarence Thomas. We shouldn't have a lying sexual harasser on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • Conner Eldridge forms NWA law firm

    Conner Eldridge, the former western district U.S. attorney who made an unsuccessful Democratic race for U.S. Senate in 2016, has announced formation of a new law firm, based in Rogers, with Steve Brooks, a former Friday Firm partner.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Literary Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jul 1, 2016
  • Federal judge reprimands John Goodson for misconduct in class-action case

    John Goodson  — the Texarkana attorney, D.C. lobbyist, and husband of Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson — was reprimanded today by a federal judge for his conduct in a class-action case.
    • Aug 3, 2016
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

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