LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The lawyer recently assigned to oversee public record requests made to the city of Little Rock has announced he will resign at the end of the year.

Deputy City Attorney Alex Betton confirmed Thursday he will resign effective December 23. Betton said he is leaving the city to pursue other opportunities.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced in August that Betton would oversee a newly formed division that would handle requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

FOIA is a 1967 law requiring requests to government officials for information to be responded to quickly, within three days of a request being made, and fully.

Scott announced the FOIA division in August as the city had come under fire for creating what was being called roadblocks to FOIA requests.

Long-time Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter said Wednesday his office started to oversee public record requests last month.

Carpenter said he uncovered hundreds of deleted emails and documents from a city computer on Friday, some related to LITFest. He said his office is trying to recover the documents and review what has already been released.

Aaron Sadler, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, issued a statement after the disclosure by the city attorney, calling Carpenter’s allegations “concerning.”

“It’s unfortunate that the City Attorney took it upon himself to send an email to the Plaintiff in a lawsuit against the City, making unsubstantiated allegations,” Sadler wrote. “It appears he is working against his own client in a retaliatory manner, which is concerning.”

A Working 4 You investigation in July found community activist Jimmie Cavin was being delayed from getting credit card purchase information from Scott’s office after a FOIA request had been filed for the documents.

Working 4 You also sent a FOIA request in July for communication records from the city related to a 2021 deadly pursuit and crash involving the Little Rock Police Department and a teen.

The records from that request were sent to Working 4 You by the police department. The mayor’s office, however, stated it “has no records responsive to your request.”

The mayor’s office has not yet issued a statement on Betton’s resignation.