by Max Brantley
Noted in today's attorney general opinions:
The a.g.'s office, responding to a query from Prosecutor Larry Jegley, says it would appear Arkansas Children's Hospital is subject to the Freedom of Information Act because it receives public money, but the office stopped short of saying flatly that any records there, particularly concerning the cardiovascular intensive care unit, should be open to inspection by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Children's, which receives money from a county property tax in addition to millions and millions in public dollars through state and federal sources, has always resisted opening its records. It's real simple. If you want to do business in private, give up the public money. If you want the money, open the books. Court dismssed.
Hmmm: Wonder what the D-G might be interested in? Readers? (By the way, Jegley was seeking guidance on whether Children's resistance was properly pursued as a criminal violation of the FOI or whether the D-G should seek the records in a civil action. We'd volunteer, generally if not specifically speaking, that a successful prosecution of an FOI miscreant might help those of us with small resources who get stonewalled by public officials with unlimited legal staffs and resources.) Do right, Children's. What is there to hide?