Tuesday topics now open | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday topics now open

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Funny day. Started strong, slowed quite a bit. A couple of things:

Teresa Belew
  • Teresa Belew
* SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN: Our Insider will report this week that Mark Martin's executive assistant, Teresa Belew, has departed her $50,000-a-year job. Neither the office nor Belew will discuss reasons for her departure after less than three months on the job. Belew is the former director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her photo appeared until last weekend on the secretary of state's webpage with those of other key office staff members. Martin's spokesman first told us Friday that she didn't know if Belew was still working for the office. She confirmed Monday that she's no longer employed. Tuesday, she said she remained too covered up by our other FOI requests to get to any paperwork the office might have related to Belew's departure. All this is curious, don't you think? The FOI requests pertain to my quest for personal e-mail about office business. I've been wrangling with the office for almost a month to get a complete accounting of Martin's e-mail, beginning with communications on his unauthorized Board of Apportionment spending decisions. I got a skimpy pile of paper from official office accounts initially and insisted that there must have been e-mails on private accounts that had been withheld. The Arkansas Supreme Court has made it clear that you can't use private e-mail accounts to keep public business secret. More documents are said to be in the works. From where, I don't yet know.

* AND SPEAKING OF THE FOI: I'm slowly rounding up information on finalists for the job to be the new director of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. The bureau has released information on five applicants. But I've been told by members of the search committe that only one of those five is among three people likely to be considered for the job. That is Gretchen Hall, one of the interim bureau CEOs. Two more were developed in a private firm's search for candidates. They must formally apply before their materials are released. I must observe it sounds from what I'm hearing, though, as if many city leaders know who they are. The Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission will interview finalists and make a decision toward the end of this month. The job is open because former boss Dan O'Byrne took another job in Florida.

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