Game and Fish Commission to release documents

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission now says it will release copies of applications submitted for its permanent director's position. The commission voted Friday to release the documents immediately instead of waiting for the application deadline to unseal and disclose them.

The vote came after Attorney General Dustin McDaniel called on the commission to release the documents. McDaniel told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he thinks a court would have made the commission immediately release the documents.

But Rick Watkins, the chairman of the commission's personnel committee, disputed that assertion and says the agency did not err in not previously releasing the documents. Watkins says the commission's attorneys think the state Freedom of Information Act would allow the agency to not release the applications until the panel unseals and opens them.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)