Arkies in FOI battle with Ole Miss | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Arkies in FOI battle with Ole Miss

Posted By on Sat, Jul 29, 2017 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge 'IRRITATE': Houston Nutt's attorney, Thomas Mars.
  • 'IRRITATE': Houston Nutt's attorney, Thomas Mars.
I asked Tom Mars, the Friday Firm lawyer representing former foootball coach Houston Nutt in his defamation suit against Ole Miss, to keep me posted on public developments in that case.

You may recall that Nutt is suing because Ole Miss officials and former coach Hugh Freeze supposedly tried to put down the school's trouble with recruiting violations to Nutt's prior tenure. Nutt's unhappiness and subsequent sleuthing unearthed news of Freeze's call to an escort service and his abrupt departure from Ole Miss.

But Nutt's suit continues, with no indication of an apology to him from Ole Miss.

Mars continues to probe, with a Freedom of Information Act request to Ole Miss for Freeze phone records. The university is resisting. It says the request is monumental. It says it would cost $25,000 to $50,000 to put it together. (Their legal counsel must be comparing notes with the University of Arkansas, which has begun to make an art of foiling FOI requests by claiming they are too burdensome for their hordes of six-figure bureaucrats.)

Mars has fired back in a spicy letter. He says the school has provided no authority for a delay in record production or for redaction of any of the records. He threatens an open records lawsuit if documents aren't provided by Monday. He says the wise and right thing to do would be to apologize to Nutt. And he says he isn't on a fishing expedition.
We know exactly what we’re looking for, it’s very relevant to Coach Nutt’s lawsuit, and we know it’s in the phone logs. And setting up a frivolous roadblock the way you’ve done it here just makes you guys look like you’re scared to death of what we’re going to find in those phone records. Frankly, you’ve now got us wondering what you’re trying to hide.
It's almost as entertaining as a good football game. It might take longer than the seven overtimes through which Ole Miss and the Razorbacks once battled.

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