Numerous FOIA requests submitted to a local school district and one to the county prosecuting attorney’s office by the Times Record in Fort Smith, Ark., resulted in the revelation of a junior high teacher’s record of sexual misconduct.
The school agreed to turn over the documents on Friday after the paper submitted three separate requests and the Sebastian County prosecuting attorney Gunner DeLay sent a warning about possible criminal charges for failure to comply. Greenwood School District fought the requests for nearly three months while it attempted to deal with the issue discreetly, according to DeLay.
The documents showed that the junior high teacher and coach had a long record of sexual misconduct, DeLay said. The requested documents also included the teacher’s November termination letter..
“Arkansas FOIA laws are unique,” DeLay said. “They make it clear that if you’re terminated or going to be terminated that they don’t save your bacon if you’re a teacher. It was either ‘you reveal them or we’re going to file criminal charges.’ ”