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Keeping airport pay secret

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Little Rock National Airport is declining to release pay and hire-date information on its employees, citing fears the information could be seen as a breach of security by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Arkansas Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the information in March and was provided the information, though incomplete, a week later. Some employees objected to the request in letters to the state attorney general; the AG's opinion informed them that the information is public. However, the AG's opinion noted that Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration guidelines may override state law.

Carolyn Witherspoon, attorney for the Municipal Airport Commission, said April 7 that she had forwarded the Times' request for names and salaries to the TSA. She asked that the newspaper withhold publication pending the TSA review.

Last year, the airport released the salaries of the top officials to the Times. They include Director Ron Mathieu, $180,793 (plus a bonus of $8,200 in 2009); Deputy Director Bryan Malinowski, $147,465; Finance Director Carol Snay, $129,794; Director of Properties, Planning and Development Tom Clarke, $122,424; and Media and Marketing Director Tiajuana Williams, $96,147.

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