"The city is disappointed with the result," said Jerry Canfield, an attorney for Fort Smith.
Harding was acting on longstanding legal advice that meeting individually with board members did not fall under the Freedom of Information Act because a conversation between two people isn't commonly considered a "meeting," Canfield
"That's the advice that we had given to the city since the adoption of the Freedom of Information Act," Canfield
said."It's a common practice, it's a common practice by school boards and other governing bodies." Canfield added: "The common, ordinary meaning of the word meeting requires more than a conversation with one member of the board."
It is also a practice that must be discontinued under Thursday's opinion, Canfield
said."This opinion makes it very clear that under the facts of this case that it was a violation of the Freedom of Information Act and it shouldn't be done again," Canfield
said an injunction against the city is unnecessary because "the city has shown no intention of violating the [Freedom of Information Act] and certainly has no intention to do in the future."