City officials must attend after lawsuit by The Sun set them straight for repeated FOIA violations
JONESBORO, Ark. — An Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Training Symposium for government officials and the public will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 1-3 p.m. in the First National Bank Arena auditorium on the Arkansas State University campus.
The event is hosted by Arkansas Municipal League; Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC; and Arkansas State University School of Media and Journalism. A panel will provide an overview of FOIA requirements and answer questions about fulfilling FOIA requests.
Speakers include Jenna Adams, litigation counsel, Arkansas Municipal League; Christoph Keller, litigation associate, Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC; William C. Mann III, senior litigation counsel, Arkansas Municipal League; Lanny Richmond II, code and opinions counsel, Arkansas Municipal League; and John Tull III, managing member, Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC.
Jeff Hankins, vice president for strategic communications for the ASU System and vice chair of the Arkansas FOIA Task Force, will moderate the discussion.
Admission and parking are free using the lower red entrance to First National Bank Arena.
Several City of Jonesboro officials are required to attend the meeting following a lawsuit by The Jonesboro Sun which was settled out of court over their flagrant and repeated violations of the law.
As part of the settlement, city officials required to attend the training include Mayor Harold Perrin, Chief of Police Rick Elliott, City Attorney Carol Duncan, City Communications Director Bill Campbell, JPD Public Information Specialist Sally Smith, Sgt. Lyle Waterworth, Captain Lynn Waterworth, and several others.
The Sun’s legal fees were also paid during the settlement.
The lawsuit stemmed from the department withholding reports which were legally public record.
I really don’t understand what’s so difficult about releasing information about our government and our tax dollars and keeping ourselfs informed just cause someone making a foia request doesn’t mean they are looking for curuption best example I have heard is a single mom foia her kids school bus drivers driving record.all the school had to do is black out his address and driver’s license number and sent her the information took them 2 weeks.when a foia request is made instead of trying to make a round peg fit in a square box just let the public have the peg cause their are very few exceptions to foia.The biggest problem I ran in to is uninformed records keepers not ever reading the foia law and that the records retention policy could cripple foia all together cause if the retention policy is week then thiers no information to foia.I Wish this would be addressed but lets make it mandatory that any keeper of any record in Incorporated town ship or second class city learn foia ohh wiat they can but choose not to cause the municipal league has many experts and ppl they can call and ask if they can release it.instead of asking their own yes man city attorney thier oppion the blind leading the blind and when they both fall off the cliff it’s the ppls asking for the information fualt for thier inconpents.I the city clerk during her job duty uses a pin and 12 pices of paper a week and I foia the receipt for the supplies give me my receipt for the supplies we the ppl bought u to do our work.i respect anyone that goes into government work for the perpuse to server the ppl thier are tons of selfless government officials doing the plls work.then thiers others that have lost the true perpuse in becoming as civil servant.And for u civil servants that can’t can’t be civil to the ppl u serve anymore.while maybe next election why don’t u final serve the citizen and don’t run.