Judge rules Arkansas Children's Hospital is subject to state Freedom of Information Act | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Judge rules Arkansas Children's Hospital is subject to state Freedom of Information Act

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 9:48 AM

click to enlarge download.jpg
Circuit Juge Alice Gray has ruled that Arkansas Children's Hospital is subject to the state Freedom of Information Act because the privately incorporated nonprofit institution benefits from a Pulaski County property tax.

She adopts the simple argument I"ve made since Pulaski County voters approved a half-mill property tax in 1978 to support maintenance and operations of the hospital.

Past court decisions have consistently held that public money given to private entities can subject those entities to the FOI. Though Children's Hospital has designated since 2001 that the property tax be paid to the state to use to obtain federal matching Medicaid dollars, she said the hospital retains control of the money.

She said she'd considered Children's arguments on the flow of money to the start. "As far as the FOIA is concerned the result is the same. The funds, in the form of a tax, are still collected by Pulaski County for the maintenance, operation and support of defendant. The collected tax revenue never belongs to any entity except the defendants." The tax produces more than $3 million a year.

The suit was filed by Ruby Nichols. Judge Gray ruled that, based on her ruling, Children's should "immediately comply" with her request for a copy of her personnel records.

Nichols complaint said she was fired after she complained about sexual discrimination on the job and inappropriate sexual conduct in the work environment. She contends her firing was retaliation and the hospital refused to provide personnel records she'd requested afterward.

I'm seeking a comment from Children's, which has long resisted efforts to open its records to the public. Though it is a private nonprofit, a vast amount of its revenue comes from the publicly financed Medicaid program.

Tags: , , ,



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Presidential thriller, co-author Bill Clinton, coming to bookstores in 2018

    June 2018 is the expected publication date for a novel collaboration by former President Bill Clinton and crime writer James Patterson.
    • May 9, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


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