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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.