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Suit alleges open-records violation by Fort Smith clerk

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 2, 2014 at 10:07 a.m.

FORT SMITH — A Fort Smith resident has filed a lawsuit against the city's clerk and four members of the city board, accusing them of violating the state's open meetings law.

Resident Jack Swink filed the lawsuit Tuesday against City Clerk Sherri Gard and four city board members. The lawsuit accuses Gard of individually polling city board members on an issue rather than conducting the proceedings in an open meeting.

The Southwest Times Record reported that the issue involved a three-year audit of the city's legal contract with a law firm. The lawsuit says Gard allegedly polled the board members one-on-one before discussing the matter in public. The issue was later removed from the agenda.

Gard referred calls on the lawsuit to City Attorney Jerry Canfield, who declined to comment.

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