Bono mayor and aldermen plead no contest

BONO, AR (KAIT) – The Bono mayor and three city aldermen members pleaded no contest to violating the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Tuesday.

Bono Mayor Billy Stephens and aldermen John Dodd, Leon Hamilton, and Jerry Sullins pleaded no contest Tuesday in Craighead County District Court. The men originally pleaded guilty in April.

Each of the men was fined $250, and ordered to attend the FOIA Road Show hosted by Attorney GeneralDustin McDaniel, along with the Arkansas Press Association in Little Rock on June 12.

After completing that course and within a year if no other laws are violated, the judge agreed to dismiss all charges against the men.

Stephens is accused of meeting with three aldermen on March 21 in a gathering that was not publicly announced.

A local newspaper filed a complaint after obtaining an audio recording of the meeting in which one alderman said the meeting wasn't legal but was "between us, between friends."

The officials were meeting to discuss the hiring of a police chief.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you the latest details as soon as they become available.

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