FOI lawsuit challenges Mark Martin's hiring of outside counsel | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FOI lawsuit challenges Mark Martin's hiring of outside counsel

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM

CHAD PEKRON: Fellow elections commissioner with Mark Martin gets some of his legal business.
  • CHAD PEKRON: Fellow elections commissioner with Mark Martin gets some of his legal business.
Matt Campbell, who was forced to sue Secretary of State Mark Martin because his office wouldn't supply documents as required by the state Freedom of Information Act about the office's heavy use of outside legal counsel, has now filed a motion in that lawsuit contending that Martin's use of outside counsel in the FOI case is not allowed by law.

Here's the link to the filing.

And here's Campbell's account of the legal challenge on his blog, Blue Hog Report.

State law says that the attorney general "shall" be the attorney for constitutional officers such as Martin. Martin may use in-house counsel, of which he has plenty. And outside counsel may be sought if the attorney general can't represent the office, in which case the governor may appoint an alternative. When the governor appoints someone, a court is supposed to set compensation, not let the outside counsel charge at will. Not counting the firm hired for this FOI case, Campbell said Martin has spent more than $100,000 on outside counsel.

Last week, Chad Pekron of the Quattlebaum firm said in court filing that he'd been retained by Martin to defend the FOI suit Campbell brought. Soon after, Campbell got some of the documents he'd requested that Martin earlier said didn't exist.

Pekron, it so happens, is an appointee of the Republican House Speaker Davy Carter to the state Board of Election Commissioners, a bipartisan body that works closely with Martin's office on election matters and a body on which Martin himself sits. Someday, he may get to vote on issues where Martin and others on the commission have a difference of opinion.

I've asked the secretary of state's office for a response.

UPDATE from Alex Reed of Martin's office:

We don't comment on pending lawsuits, but I assume a filed response with the court will be forthcoming.

Tags: , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (23)

Showing 1-23 of 23

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-23 of 23

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

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