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State open-records law ruling before high court

By The Associated Press

This article was published November 29, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.

— An attorney for a west Arkansas city says the state Supreme Court should order legislators to define what constitutes a meeting under the state’s Freedom of Information act after a judge ruled part of the law was unconstitutional.

Justices heard arguments Thursday over a Sebastian County judge’s ruling that struck down the law’s criminal penalty.

Arguments focused more on whether a series of one-one-one meetings between a city administrator and board members constituted a meeting.

Fort Smith City Attorney Jerry Canfield said the law is too vague on what constitutes a meeting and said justices should tell the Legislature to define it. An attorney for Joey McCutchen, who had sued the city, said the one-on-one meetings undermined the law by allowing an administrator to secretly pitch an ordinance to directors.

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