By Whitney Evans | June 8th, 2012
Arkansas is showing it takes Freedom of Information seriously.
Recently, Craighead County Special Judge Orville Clift fined officials from Bono for an FOI violation, The Associated Press reports. Mayor Billy Stephens was fined $200, and Aldermen John Dodd, Leon Hamilton and Jerry Sullins $250 each for failing to publicly announce a meeting they held regarding a new police chief. Additionally, each received 30 days suspended jail time and were ordered to attend an educational FOIA class, held by the Arkansas Press Association, in hopes the education will help them avoid future infractions.
Perhaps the Bono officials would have benefited by attending one of Arkansas’ ongoing FOIA education initiatives.
Dubbed the FOI ” Road Show,” this workshop has hit the road in Arkansas with the aim to educate officials and the public on freedom of information laws. In this proactive move, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has joined with the Arkansas Press Association. Although targeted to public bodies that handle FOI requests, interested members of the public are also invited to attend. The road show will stop in Little Rock on June 12 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Bowen School of Law. This is the second installment of this year’s roadshow, with fall workshops planned in Fayetteville and Magnolia.
Other helpful resources:
- Check out Sunshine Review for information on transparency, FOI and government in your state.
- Click here to find out more about freedom of information laws and contact people in your state.
- Arkansans: Get your free copy of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook here.
Whitney is the summer Pulliam/Killgore intern with SPJ. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University after studying journalism. Connect with her via email – email@example.com – or on twitter – @whitevs7
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