Transparency? Check the attorney general's office | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Transparency? Check the attorney general's office

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 2:01 PM

click to enlarge SILENT: Leslie Rutledge refuses to provide information on office firing.
  • SILENT: Leslie Rutledge refuses to provide information on office firing.
On her website, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge touts her "transparency and accessibility." Well ...

I got a tip last week that Rutledge had fired her chief financial officer. I inquired Thursday. I also made an FOI request for underlying documentation. My response from Amanda Priest, who handles Rutledge media requests, was a brief remark Thursday that my FOI request had been received.

Monday, I received without further elaboration, this document. The "change in employment status" form says Susan Leann Brewer, who had been chief fiscal/operations officer in the office since March 2017, had been involuntarily terminated, with her last day of pay Feb. 22. No explanation was provided. Priest says this is the only document responsive to my request. She offered no explanation. Brewer hasn't responded to a message I sent to her.

I asked Priest Tuesday for a comment from Rutledge herself. I was told today the only response I'll get is the one-page document. In other words, the attorney general refused to comment.  Transparent? Accessible?

Priest did confirm in an exchange of notes that the office had last Thursday gotten Joint Budget approval for new pay lines for a couple of positions, a chief operations and chief information officer, but said it was believed no budget increase would be necessary to pay for them.

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