Prosecutor sees FOI violation by Fort Smith city board, won't file charges | Arkansas Blog

Prosecutor sees FOI violation by Fort Smith city board, won't file charges


40/29 reports that Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue of Fort Smith has released a letter saying he believes members of the Fort Smith City Board violated the Freedom of Information Act by discussing board business in e-mails.

The e-mails at issue concerned police department hiring decisions. Said 40/29:

"I appreciate very much the valuable service performed by the Mayor, the Fort Smith City Administrator and the Fort Smith Board of Directors; however no violations like the ones that have occurred should be allowed to occur in the future," Shue wrote. "The public deserves to be privy to all of the Board's hard work, not just some of it."

Shue's letter did not state whether he intended to file charges or not.

The City Board faces another complaint from a local lawyer that the board had violated the FOI law by having e-mail discussions about an earlier FOI complaint. Several of them seem to reject the notion that discussing public business by private e-mail without notice to the public is legal. It isn't.

Urging sinners to sin no more becomes an empty exercise at some point. The law provides punishment for willful law violators. It might be time to book 'em, Dan-o.

UPDATE: No such luck. Shue said he'd file no charges, 40/29 reported Tuesday, "providing that no further violations occur."

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