LRPD identifies a confidential informant and provides Social Security Numbers of a witness and some LRPD cops in a response to a Freedom of Information request
by Russ Racop
|Lt. Michael "Lil' Bang" Ford, Jr. - Supervisor of the LRPD FOI Unit|
In a response to a Freedom of Information request we made to the Little Rock Police Department for a Internal Affairs investigation file, the LRPD FOI Unit not only failed to protect the identity of a Confidential Informant ("CI"), they provided the Social Security Numbers of a witness, a former LRPD cop and two current LRPD cops.
The Arkansas Attorney General has long opined that the personally identifiable information LRPD released to us is in fact exempt from release.
So when we found that the Internal Affairs Investigation file we requested revealed the identity of a confidential information that had worked with LRPD and the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office we were shocked.
One of the documents listed the Social Security Number of a witness.
NOTE: We placed a green rectangle over the Driver's License number and SSN of the witness. On the document LRPD provided they were clearly visible.
The documents included on that displayed the SSN of a disgraced, former LRPD cop Tina Moore.
They also leaked the SSN of two current LRPD cops - Clark Sheffield (one of the cops on the LRPD Liar's List) and Eric Hedgecock. Additionally LRPD leaked that both cops had been orally reprimanded for departmental violations.
Disciplinary actions that do not result in a suspension or termination are not subject to release under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
We can't be certain if proving us with these confidential records was intentional or inadvertently released due to incompetence.
We asked the mayor, police chief, city attorney and the two cops for comments about the release of these records. No one responded.
We will introduce you to the members of the LRPD FOI Unit in an upcoming post.
Apparently LRPD does not make notifications to their employees when they for whatever reason release exempt information in a FOI response.
We provided notification to the city and LRPD of the release of exempt information. We requested copies of the notification sent to the individuals that had their exempt information provided to us.
LRPD said they had no records to provide. That means they did not apprise these individual that they had given us their SSN's.
Then on Friday June 18th, we got a call from Lt. Michael "Lil' Bang" Ford. He wanted to know which of their FOI responses contained that SSN information.
We suspect he asked so that they can "discipline" the employee that provided the SSN's.
We also told him that we had been provided personal email addresses of several LRPD cops in another of their FOI responses.
Their bucket has a hole in it at the LRPD FOI Unit. Wait until you see the post about the individuals that are assigned to that unit.