Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Freedom Fighter
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

FOIA Lawsuit in Arkansas

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.



  

 

 

credit

 

 

Secure Arkansas would like to share this much needed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit with our reading audience because we had a really nasty legislative battle on our hands this last 2017 session regarding the MANY pieces of foul legislation that were filed by some underhanded lawmakers trying to block public access to desperately needed documents in the Arkansas FOIA process! Click here to see one of those badly proposed anti-freedom pieces of legislation that Senator Bart Hester (R, Cave Springs) and Representative Bob Ballinger (R, Berryville) had the audacity to sponsor earlier this year (2017). (Voters, do not elect these types of legislators again! Always check their voting records.)

 

We need to keep our “Sunshine Law” here in Arkansas protected, don’t we? Secure Arkansas, the media, and private citizens use the Arkansas Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) quite often so we can actually see what’s going on in our government.

 

It’s our legal right to request information via FOIA! The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that provides the public the right to request access information from:

  • agencies

  • county government

  • municipal government

  • state government  

  • public schools

Stated in the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook 25-19-102 Legislative intent:

“It is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner so that the electors shall be advised of the performance of public officials and of the decisions that are reached in public activity and in making public policy. Toward this end, this chapter is adopted, making it possible for them or their representatives to learn and to report fully the activities of their public officials.”

Anyone who tries to block this process or abuse the public’s right to transparency regarding our right to know, is in violation of the Arkansas FOIA law and needs to be prosecuted. And that’s just what this lawsuit is going to do!

 

The penalty for violating the FOIA is stated in the Arkansas FOIA  Handbook  25-19-104 Penalty:

 

“Any person who negligently violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. “

 

Please be sure to read for yourself what Arkansas’ Attorney Joey McCutchen is currently doing about those who thought they could get around our FOIA laws.  Stand by and see what will happen to those officials that obstruct and try to ignore our FOIA rights! A big shout out to Joey for once again standing up to the bullies regarding our right to know!  His letter is included directly below.

———————————————————————-
 

Fort Smith citizen Bruce Wade previously filed suit against the City of Fort Smith based upon a series of emails addressed to Board of Directors of the City of Fort Smith containing comments/opinions/position statements by two City Directors, addressed to all City Directors, discussing and advocating abolishing the Fort Smith Civil Service Commission, which oversees hiring and allows for trials in the event of termination of non-probationary police officers and firefighters.  The meetings were secretly held by email over a series of about 10 days in May 2017.  The City Administrator’s email also speaks of a criminal investigation apparently involving the same matters alleged to violate FOIA that Mr. Wade alleges violated the FOIA statute.

 

I represent Mr. Wade and made an offer to the City of Fort Smith to settle Mr. Wade’s FOIA case without any payment of costs or attorney’s fees with a simple acknowledgment of a FOIA violation and an agreed injunction prohibiting future secret meetings of this type by email that violate FOIA.  The offer was disseminated by the City Administrator, along with a recommendation to not accept the offer, to all City Directors on August 9, 2017 at 6:07 pm.  The offer can only be considered in a public meeting in which the public has input and the public has the right to know the reasons for the Board’s acceptance, rejection, or tabling of the offer.

 

Less than three hours later, on August 9 at 8:58 PM, Fort Smith City Director Keith Lau sent an email to all other City Directors (which certainly has signs that he knows is violating FOIA by telling other directors to “close your eyes”).  Director Lau states:

 

“So according to the premise of guilt proposed in this settlement my response to all in this email is an admitted violation of AFOIA.  So to all other than Carl close your eyes and to Carl I do not want to settle or admit guilt in any way on this matter.  I’m tired of being Joey McCutchen {sic} advertising firm and want to take a stand against his BS.  Respectfully Keith Lau.” [emphasis added]

 

About an hour later, at 10:08 PM on August 9, 2017, City Director Andre Good responded to the entire Board of Directors, voicing his support against the proposal, stating:

 

“Well said Director Lau.  I whole-heartedly agree.  Ag.”

 

With Good’s opposition and only through a series of emails that constitute a secret meeting, the vote is already 2 directors opposing the proposed resolution.  But as if this wasn’t enough, on August 11, 2017 at 6:47 PM, City Director Mike Lorenz participates in the secret meeting in another secret email announcing his vote against the proposal and calling the lawsuit brought by Bruce Wade “a frivolous waste of resources and mocks the FOIA law and our legal system. * * * I will not admit guilt to a violation that I know does not exist.”  Director Lorenz also seems to suggest that saying “feel free to stop reading at this point” is enough to insulate himself from the requirements of FOIA.  Director Lorenz’s email states, in part:

“I am stating my opinion only and suggest that each of us carefully considers this case/offer and be prepared to fully discuss and support such opinion at the September 5th board meeting.  I am simply providing my opinion in this matter so feel free to stop reading at this point and delete this email if you do not want to see my opinion.  I will be brief and explain in detail at the meeting during our discussion on September 5th.

 

Opinion:  This lawsuit is a frivolous waste of resources and mocks the FOIA law and our legal system.  I am hopeful that the judge will not only find in the city’s favor in this case but also fine McCutcheon {sic} for such frivolous abuse of the law and using these cases for what is clearly a marketing/advertising plan for his law firm.  I will not admit guilt to a violation that I know does not exist.

 

Mike Lorenz

Ward 3 Director.”  [emphasis added]

 

By the time that Director Lorenz had cast his vote, there were already three Fort Smith City Directors that secretly voted against the proposal, even though FOIA prohibits this type of secret meeting and absolutely prohibits the voting that these Directors did because it must only be considered in a public meeting.

 

In sum, to answer your question, what was discussed is the proposal on the issue of resolving the Wade lawsuit—a matter that can only occur in a public meeting and the votes and opinions of the Directors.

 

Thanks,

 

Joey McCutchen

 

[Highlighted text, Secure Arkansas’]

———————————————————————-

 

Stay tuned!

 

As always, you can find our email articles posted on our website: SecureArkansas.com.  The Search box is a handy tool.  For more information about a topic, just type it into the Search box on our website, and click Enter!
 

Securing the blessings of liberty,
 

Secure Arkansas
securetherepublic.com/arkansas
[email protected]


Disclaimer:

Legal Advice is Not Provided

The material in our emails/alerts and on our websites is only intended to provide general information and comment to the public. We make an effort to ensure that the information found in our emails/alerts and on our websites is accurate and timely, but we can’t and don’t guarantee that. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information contained on websites to which our websites or emails provide links.

Information found in our emails/alerts and on our websites should not be taken as legal advice. Legal matters can be complicated. For assistance with a specific legal problem or question, please contact a knowledgeable lawyer for assistance.


 



Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.