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LRPD has recently tried to find ways to avoid turning over public documents requested under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. 

You can read our previous posts by clicking here, here, here, here, here and here.

They first tried to prevent release of documents saying they could not separate exempt from non-exempt information. 

That didn't work because the AFOIA specially states:

Then they would not provide documents in the requested electronic form. Another violation of the AFOIA.

Then when previous attempts to stem or stop FOI requests failed, they issued a proclamation that they would only provide responses to FOI request on CD's or DVD's at a charge of $3.00 per disc. Turns out that the actual cost for LRPD per disc was actually 24 cents for a CD and 32 cent for a DVD. 

That did not last long, and now they are giving away discs at "no charge", at least to us.

Another tactic LRPD employed was to ignore or not provide a timely response to a FOI request unless threatened with legal action. That's another violation.

Think an in-person request to inspect or copy documents might be easier?

Wrong, we tried that and Officer Steve Moore told us he didn't have time, then got up from his broke down, propped up desk and left the room. A violation of LRPD Rules and Regulations, LRPD General Orders and the AFOIA.

Each time, City Attorney Tom Carpenter had to advise LRPD that they were violating the law. 

Our latest FOI flap with LRPD was when we refused to sign a form stating that they had fulfilled our FOI request.

The AFOIA has no such requirement and we told them so. You would have thought we called them a bad name, like mercenary-out-of-town officers.

We had signed those forms numerous times before until they became an issue.

Last week when reviewing a FOI response (CD) from LRPD, we discovered that information placed on that particular disc was not the information we had requested.

We apprised LRPD of their mistake and an all day email squabble ensued.

So when we asked for the corrected FOI response and the LRPD Officer behind the glass told us to sign the receipt, we politely said no. We told the officer that we had no way to confirm that what was on the disc was actually what we had requested and that we would not sign anything saying that our FOI request had been completed and requested material had been furnished and related what had transpired the previous day. We also apprised the officer that the AFOIA had no requirement that a citizen had to sign a receipt in order to obtain documents requested under the AFOIA.

The officer told us they would not give use their response to our lawful AFOIA request unless we signed the form. The officer told us that they would try and find someone to decide what to do. Our suggestion to call the city attorney was ignored.

While we were waiting for someone at LRPD HQ with decision making power to appear and hand over the material we lawfully requested more that a month before, we decided to call City Attorney Tom Carpenter. We apprised him of the situation and he commented that LRPD writes tickets everyday to individuals that refuse to sign the ticket. Carpenter stated that the officer notes on the ticket that the individual refused to sign, then gives them the ticket and everyone goes on about their business. Carpenter stated that is what they should do with the FOI receipt we refused to sign as the AFOIA has no requirement that before a response to a FOI request is given a receipt for it must be filed. 

After a 20 minute wait and two trips to feed the parking meter with a few dimes we were given the material requested.

LRPD has suffered under the leadership of befouled police chief Kenton Tremar Buckner.

The citizens of this city have suffered long enough under the failed leadership of troubled city manager Bruce Moore and his inability to exert any supervision over Buckner.

Buckner must have some damaging information about Moore (beyond his home wrecking activities) to be able to get away with the things he does with little or no consequences.

It is time for a changes in leadership at city hall, and with those changes Moore and Buckner must be replaced.

#TimeForChange #CleanOutLRCityHall

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