Details in library FOIA case released

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:10 AM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - An agreement has been reached in a lawsuit between a Northeast Arkansas library and a former board member.

Amanda Escue told Region 8 News Tuesday evening that an agreement was entered Tuesday before the court.

Her attorney, Joey McCutchen of Fort Smith, said the two parties agreed to the following:

  • The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library admits to violating the Freedom of Information Act by not providing two hours’ notice for a subcommittee meeting.
  • The library will not hold any further meetings without notice.
  • The library will receive training on FOIA.
  • The library will pay court costs and attorney fees.

A case is set to be heard on Nov. 10 involving a complaint filed against the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library.

The court date was set Thursday in Craighead County Circuit Court in front of Circuit Judge Richard Lusby.

Escue, a former board member of the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, and McCutchen filed the FOIA complaint on Oct. 27 claiming, “On October 6, 2021, the Sensitive Content Subcommittee held its first meeting....No notice of the subcommittee meeting was given by the board to the public or any media organizations.”

It was the latest turn in the debate over a pride display and books with sexual material in the children’s section.

“It’s not about politics. It’s about our Freedom of Information Act and a public body following the law,” McCutchen said. “If a public body violates the law whether they’re liberal or conservative. Left or right. It makes no difference. They need to follow the law.”

The FOIA states a governing body must notify the public when holding a meeting.

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