by Max Brantley
We're still awaiting documents from the state Game and Fish Commission on a wildlife officer's unpleasant encounter with former Federal Marshal Ray Carnahan. But we're told they will be coming along shortly.
Meanwhile, there's more news. Carnahan will make an appearance tomorrow morning before a federal magistrate in Fort Smith. Given that the appearance is earlier than an expected appearance at an arraignment session Thursday afternoon, we would guess that a deal has been worked out. If we had to guess: A plea to a minor charge of disobeying a wildlife officer's command to stop on a rural road in Scott County. A more serious charge related to giving false information to federal investigators will go away.
We'll try to update you on the Game and Fish particulars -- withheld previously under the pretext that the investigation was "continuing" -- if we can. I'm going to be out of pocket, taking my annual bashing from Boys State and then heading to the Bar Association meeting in Hot Springs.
UPDATE: Reporting Thursday morning from Hot Springs, I now see from reading the Democrat-Gazette why the folks I left behind at the Times Wednesday afternoon added nothing to this report. The documents provided by the Game and Fish Commission were redacted so much as to be meaningless. It's a lawsuit begging to be filed. Can a state agency, bound by the state FOI ignore the law out of deference to a federal agency? And, more simply, when did Game and Fish decide it was different than every other police agency in the state and come to believe that criminal incident reports are not public information until a charge is filed? If that's so, the LRPD is no longer required to share incident reports of murders in the city until an investigation is completed. It would be outrageous if that happened, just as this decision of Game and Fish is outrageous.
If any of the secretive bunch at GFC happen to be reading: consider this another FOI request for the full, uncensored report. I expect the fax machine to start humming about 9:30 a.m. this morning, when Carnahan enters a plea in federal court in Fort Smith, as I've been told he'll do. At that point, surely not even the arrogant bunch at Game and Fish will try to argue this investigation is still "continuing."