Freedom of Information lawsuit filed against Mark Martin | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Freedom of Information lawsuit filed against Mark Martin

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 6:48 AM

MARK MARTIN: Slow and inadequate response to FOI request, lawsuit says.
  • MARK MARTIN: Slow and inadequate response to FOI request, lawsuit says.
Here's a copy of the lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain communications between Secretary of State Mark Martin and a law firm about defense of the office against suits filed by two fired Capitol police officers.

The Democrat-Gazette quoted an office spokesman this morning as saying all requested documents have been supplied. I"ve asked Matt Campbell, the plaintiff, if that's so. Last night he'd indicated otherwise:

To date, I've received the PDFs and printouts (but nothing electronic) of two of the Word files. I've also received lies and half-truths about emails being deleted after thirty days (despite the fact that all of the emails I received in my previous FOIA request were older than thirty days) and the email-retention policy that they sent you re: Soderquist in 2011 (which violates DFA retention rules). By the end, they seemed convinced that I wouldn't actually file a lawsuit to get the stuff, so I decided to call their bluff.

UPDATE: Campbell says this morning that the office has still refused to provide electronic versions of all documents. Electronic versions of Word documents often contain underlying information about editing. Says Campbell:

That's a large part of it, sure. But also because the law specifically allows me to get the documents in that format. Disclosure under the FOIA isn't subject to the whims of the Secretary of State or Alex Reed, despite what they might believe.

Even if Martin had complied with the law, it happened after excessive foot-dragging and took a lawsuit.

Matt Campbell is a lawyer himself and authors the Blue Hog Report, a blog with liberal Democratic leanings.

(Small point: I am not sure exactly why "liberal blogger" was important enough in this matter to be in the first three words of the Democrat-Gazette story on the issue. When the Democrat-Gazette files an FOI suit, the story customarily doesn't open with "A conservative Republican newspaper today sued ....." What's at issue here, first, aren't Campbell's politics but whether a public official had promptly and fully complied with the state law on access to publish records.)

But if the spin is important, you can see it all right here at Blue Hog Report.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation