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Background Information

Employment History

Fort Smith

City Attorney


Board Member
Fort Smith

Web References (31 Total References)

In the filing by City Attorney ...

www.thecitywire.com [cached]

In the filing by City Attorney Jerry Canfield and attorney Michael Redd, who is representing City Director Keith Lau, the men acknowledged that Gard had polled board members regarding removing two items from meeting agendas after City Director Mike Lorenz called Gard to initiate the process and said it was perfectly acceptable under Arkansas law.

"Defendants admit that the Fort Smith Code contains procedures for the formulating of agendas of meetings of the Fort Smith Board of Directors," Canfield writes in his response.
But in the response dated July 18, Canfield said invalidating the city ordinance that allows one director to ask that an item be removed so long as three other directors also notify the city clerk that they want the item removed would impede the city's ability to conduct business.

A second legal opinion on a ...

www.thecitywire.com [cached]

A second legal opinion on a 2009 water payment dispute between Fort Smith and Van Buren concurred with the opinion given by Fort Smith attorney Jerry Canfield: Fort Smith does not have the legal power to force Van Buren to pay a 2009 "true up" of $253,000.

NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source

www.nwanews.com [cached]

"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 said.
"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.
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."

Press Argus-Courier

www.pressargus.com [cached]

Fort Smith attorney Jerry Canfield argued the agreement stipulated directors' approval.

"We said it was subject to approval of the board of directors.The governing body retains the right to settle," he said.

City Attorney Jerry Canfield ...

www.thecitywire.com [cached]

City Attorney Jerry Canfield provided both emails to citizens who requested notification, as well as media reports, to illustrate the pattern.

After a request was made by Canfield to dismiss the case following Swink's testimony, Judge Cox took about 15 minutes to come to a decision before dismissing the case.

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