City board to discuss attorney UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

City board to discuss attorney UPDATE

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The Little Rock City Board tonight has a late-arriving agenda item. It's an executive session on City Attorney Tom Carpenter. Some directors, including outgoing Director Michael Keck, aren't happy that Carpenter changed his earlier thinking and said state law barred the city from enforcing an ordinance that prohibits city candidates from carrying over campaign surpluses.

Most believe Carpenter acted under pressure from Mayor Mark Stodola, who was piling up a fat campaign account in an essentially uncontested reelection bid. Stodola has not yet made clear what he did with his surplus, though he indicated unspecified contributions to charity.

UPDATE: I asked for Keck's emails requesting the meeting tonight. They included this elaboration on his request to discuss Carpenter's job performance.

Tom:

I wanted you to know that I am sending the following e-mail to board members. I felt you were owed the professional courtesy of knowing the discussion that I am requesting of my board colleagues.

Mayor and Fellow Board Members:

Tomorrow evening, I will be making a request that the Board of Directors meet in Executive Session for the purposes of discussion of the job performance of City Attorney Tom Carpenter. Bruce, please show this executive session as an item to be added to the agenda.

From: Carpenter, Tom
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 4:39 PM
To: Keck, Michael
Subject: RE: Heads Up

Dear Michael,
Thanks for the heads up.
Tom

From: "Keck, Michael"
To: "Carpenter, Tom"
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 16:46:28 -0600
Subject: RE: Heads Up

I know it is hard when one speaks of their job and performance not for
it to be taken personally. I know I have taken it personally when my
job performance was discussed. However, please know I have a great
respect for you, and your tenure with the city.

I do not have a rope with a noose and a designated tree by which to hang
you. However, in light of the issues related to the ordinance of our
elections, I believe there are some things that do need to be discussed.

Michael Keck

From: "Carpenter, Tom"
To: "Keck, Michael"
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 16:51:20 -0600
Subject: RE: Heads Up

Dear Michael,

We have had differences in the past, but one thing I have always
been certain about is that you take actions because you believe it is
the right thing to do. It is in this light that I got your email, and
that I sent mine. Of course, I have a particular way that I want this to
work out. And, you are right, it is somewhat personal. But, it is also
something that you are doing as a public official on what you believe to
be a matter of public interest and concern. There is nothing that I can
do but appreciate that fact. While I wish it would not occur, I would
rather someone speak out than be silent when they have something to say.

Tom

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