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The people misserved

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Did somebody say Mark Martin, again? Martin is in the wrong like Willie Mays was in the outfield, ranging widely. He's lately been squandering taxpayers' money on legal advice that he could have gotten for nothing.

Martin has a lawyer on his own payroll, and he can obtain assistance from the attorney general. But he paid $3,000 to a private law firm to advise him how to comply with the state Freedom of Information Act. The advice the firm gave was similar to that in a free booklet the attorney general distributes. (Some state agencies seem to believe that publicly-paid lawyers should share with their privately-employed colleagues. We remember a lawsuit in which the defendant University of Arkansas showed up with enough of its own lawyers to field a baseball team, yet hired a private attorney to argue the case.) Maybe Martin felt he couldn't get exactly the advice he wanted from state lawyers. We suspect Martin reads the Freedom of Information law the way W. C. Fields read the bible — looking for loopholes.

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