BANNED: Reporters with cameras were escorted out of a Little Rock Civil Service Commission hearing on Thursday. Brian Chilson

Matt Campbell is drafting a legal challenge to the Little Rock Civil Service Commission’s ban on recording public hearings on behalf of KATV, Channel 7, and KTHV, Channel 11, KATV reports. Campbell will ask for a temporary restraining order.

The city has argued that the commission is exempt from state Freedom of Information Act because its hearing are handled like judicial proceedings. Robert Steinbuch, a UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law professor and FOIA expert, says the city is wrong.

KATV notes that attendees at the hearing were required to have their picture taken and printed on an ID card. Steinbuch said that’s also a violation of the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

UPDATE: City Attorney Tom Carpenter interrupted the hearing to recommend that the commission lift the recording ban. Cameras have now been allowed in the hearing. The Times Brian Chilson and Rebekah Hall are onhand.

Advertisement