Arkansas attorney general claims Board of Corrections broke law in interim appointment

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Late Friday afternoon, a letter from Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin to Board of Corrections chairman Benny Magness stated laws had been broken in a recent hiring.

The letter states that the board broke the state’s Freedom of Information Act laws on two points. First, it went into executive session at its January 31 meeting without following protocols, and second, it appointed an interim Secretary of Corrections.

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The board voted on January 31 to appoint Eddie Joe Williams as the interim Secretary of Corrections after it fired the previous secretary at a January 10 meeting.

Griffin’s letter said the protocols broken by the board included not announcing the specific purpose of the session and inviting a non-board member into the meeting.

Griffin said the second violation was that the governor had not nominated Williams. He added that the board’s calling Williams an interim executive-in-charge and consultant “makes matters worse” because the board did not vote on it and is not empowered to hire a consultant.

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The letter states the board “must cure these illegal actions immediately, no later than Friday, February 9, 2024.”

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