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A request for information sent to the ABC about liquor store closings resulted in an interoffice catfight between the secretaries of the ABC Administrative Director ( Judy Chwalinski) and the ABC Enforcement Director (Milinda Brown).

Back on October 14, 2015 Steve Rogers of Magnolia was planning on opening a store there and asked the ABC if they had information about stores going out of business (not renewing permits or turning a permit in). 

This is information which the ABC routinely collects and maintains in the every day course of their operation as evidenced by an email sent out by Chwalinski herself.

Milinda Brown, the secretary of Boyce Hamlet, the tainted ABC Enforcement Director sent an email to ABC employees in a good faith effort to comply with Mr. Roger's request for information.

The Department of Finance & Administration (of which the ABC is a member organization) has in its own Code of Ethics that any DFA employee is to promptly and accurately respond to all requests for information, regardless of the source.

Mr. Rogers could have availed himself of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and requested that information from the ABC as well.

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act is the “people’s law (see Arkansas Attorney’s Generals Office Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook 2 (12th ed. Jan. 2006) and ensures that its citizens have access to information at every level of government. 

The government’s records are presumed to be public and open to the state’s citizens if they are “maintained in public offices or by public employees within the scope of their employment” (A.C.A § 25-19- 103).  

The reason Mr. Rogers wanted this information is not relevant to his making the request or the ABC providing an answer. 

You don't have to take our word for that, as many court cases involving requests made pursuant to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act have clearly pointed that out as well have AG Opinions... "the purpose for which an individual seeks access to a government record is irrelevant to the FOIA request" (See Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 2004-245).

But as any reasonable individual would do, Mr. Rogers simply emailed a request for information to the ABC. 

However most ABC employees have little respect for department/organization policies or state laws as evidenced by Chwalinski's terse and bitchy response to Brown's email trying to get information requested by Mr. Rogers.

Maybe Chwalinski was having a bad day or maybe she holds a grudge against Brown because tainted ABC Enforcement Director lets Brown run personal errands on state time  without taking leave as state leave policy requires (look for more about this in a upcoming post).

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