Fort Smith and contempt for open government | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fort Smith and contempt for open government

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 7:44 AM

click to enlarge JOEY MCCUTCHEN: FOI fight against Fort Smith continues.
  • JOEY MCCUTCHEN: FOI fight against Fort Smith continues.
Is there really any doubt that some members of the Fort Smith City Directors spit on the state Freedom of Information Act?

Dave Hughes writes in the Democrat-Gazette today about yet another FOI lawsuit by Joey McCutchen, who's successfully gone to war before with the local School Board and city government on the sunshine law.

No speculation here. The lawsuit contains smoking pistols in the form of e-mails among three city directors talking about how to respond to a proposed settlement of an earlier FOI lawsuit. This amounts to an unannounced private meeting.

The e-mails illustrate contempt for doing the public's business in public. It's not the first time.

The baseline law in Arkansas arose in a case against the city of Fort Smith in which the Arkansas Supreme Court said that informal meetings and one-on-one meetings conducted through an administrative intermediary could not be used to defy the open meetings law.

It is much easier to cook up decisions, defenses, alibis, etc., in private and then spring the done-deals on the public. You can do that in private business. When you are elected to serve the public and spend the public's money, you can't. Or so says the law. Why doesn't Fort Smith get that?

But ...... I have a suspicion that Fort Smith is not alone. An awful lot of stuff emerges pre-cooked at, for example, Little Rock City Board meetings. Directors often seem to know in advance just how votes are going to shake out. Maybe they are just particularly excellent mind readers.


Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • 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
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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