Friday, October 31, 2014

Arrest affidavit today against Rodney Forte, the executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Alliance in Little Rock, for a violation of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.


By Chelsea Boozer , Nikki Wentling

This article was published October 30, 2014 at 5:08 a.m.


Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley said he will issue an arrest affidavit today against Rodney Forte, the executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Alliance in Little Rock, for a violation of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

The action comes after the Metropolitan Housing Alliance sent an invoice to theArkansas Democrat-Gazette late Tuesday,charging more than $16,000 to hire outside workers to help the agency comply with a records-release request -- a practice the Little Rock city attorney and other Arkansas Freedom of Information Act experts say is illegal.

Jegley said that in his 23 years with the prosecutor's office, he has never before authorized an arrest affidavit for a Freedom of Information Act violation. The violation is a Class C misdemeanor.

"Usually, we can work things out for people to get the documents they're entitled to -- that's ultimately what it's all about," Jegley said, calling this instance with the housing agency "over the top," "outrageous" and "absolutely indicative of bad faith on the part of the agency and the responsible individuals."