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Review sought in UA email case

By Jaime Adame

This article was published August 1, 2014 at 2:23 a.m.

A former University of Arkansas at Fayetteville employee has requested a private judicial review of five years worth of emails as part of a lawsuit claiming the university failed to follow the law when the man asked for the emails under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

The university previously asked that the June 13 lawsuit be dismissed, claiming a records request from Wade Cash was too vague and couldn't be fulfilled with "reasonable" effort. The law states records requests "shall be sufficiently specific to enable the custodian to locate the records with reasonable effort."

Cash last year asked for "all incoming and outgoing email correspondence" from the accounts of two former co-workers from Jan. 1, 2008, through Jan. 8, 2013. In his lawsuit, he states the university only supplied him with emails containing the word "wade."

UA's request that the lawsuit be dismissed states that external personnel would have been needed to comply with Cash's request, with extensive effort needed to review the emails to ensure the university didn't release anything ordered by law to be kept private. In court documents, UA states Cash refused to pay for such costs.

The latest court documents from Cash, filed Monday, claim UA wrongly described Cash's request as too vague. The court documents also stated the university may not legally be able to employ external personnel and then charge the person requesting records for that third party's time.

Cash, who is represented by Fayetteville attorney Rick Woods, asks for the Washington County Circuit Court to sift the emails to determine what is public record, rather than the defendant, UA, making the determination.

"In this case it is clear the Defendant does not want to comply with the law," the court document stated. "Allowing the fox to guard the hen house in this case would not be appropriate."

NW News on 08/01/2014

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