Jefferson County election squabble enters new arena | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jefferson County election squabble enters new arena

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 8:49 AM

click to enlarge STU SOFFER: At incident when he pulled gun.
  • STU SOFFER: At incident when he pulled gun.
A lawsuit has been filed against Stu Soffer, a member of the Jefferson County Election Commission, for his failure to turn over e-mails in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The suit was filed by Little Rock lawyer Lawrence Walker on behalf of Crystal Okoro of North Little Rock. It is an outgrowth of an ongoing controversy surrounding the election commission. Soffer pulled a gun outside a recent Election Commission meeting because he said a former commissioner, Ted Davis, had approached in a "threatening" way. Soffer, a Republican, has quarreled with Democrats, particularly some black Democrats who won recent primary election contests that unseated local incumbents. Soffer has complained about election activities in that camp.

The lawsuit says Soffer has resisted providing e-mails, citing a number of excuses, including that he's not a public official and as a matter of practice doesn't retain records. E-mail from private accounts about public business is accessible under the FOI. Another of Soffer's excuses for noncompliance apparently is that he has communicated with an attorney about an ongoing election "investigation."  (The law provides this exception:  "Undisclosed investigations by law enforcement agencies of suspected criminal activity." Is the Election Commission a law enforcement agency?) The suit contends some private e-mail may be protected, but a fact-finder should judge whether others are open to inspection as the public's business.


If Soffer has communicated by e-mail — a public or private account — about Election Commission matters those records should be retrievable and they should be open to public inspection. His excuses to the contrary are mostly smoke-blowing.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.
  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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