LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A day after the prosecutor in Pulaski County said he misspoke about launching an investigation into Little Rock City Hall and its handling of public record requests, the NAACP announced it wants to sit down and meet with him.
Larry Hicks, a representative for the Little Rock NAACP chapter, said any comments by the prosecutor was misplaced.
Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley said Tuesday that he’s opened an investigation into Little Rock City Hall over its handling of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The next day, Jegley said he misspoke and meant to say he’s monitoring the situation and will determine if an outside agency should investigate.
It comes after months of intense scrutiny on City Hall related to requests for public records and a city director accusing Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. of telling a city employee not to release a record, something the mayor has denied.
Hicks said Jegley’s comment is not only misplaced but politically motivated.
“The comments made by Prosecuting Attorney Jegley are not only incorrigible but they’re also racially inciteful,” Hicks said.
Some members of the NAACP believe FOIA is being misused for political motives because of the upcoming mayoral election.
Jegley issued a statement Tuesday afternoon denying the allegations made by Hicks.
“I categorically deny the baseless allegations leveled against me and the Prosecutor’s office and stand by our commitment to enforce the law fairly and impartially regardless of lies perpetrated by others,” Jegley wrote.
Attorneys for the city have admitted in court that it’s violated the state’s FOIA law.
Late Thursday afternoon, Jegley issued another statement in addition to his first.
“I stand by every word in my letter to Mr. Carpenter,” Jegley said. “Something is wrong and needs to be set right. Obviously, those making statements about me do not know me personally or professionally or they wouldn’t craft lies to fit their narrative. I remain committed to the people I was elected to serve.”