By Ray King

Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson and members of the Jefferson Count Quorum Court have been sued by an attorney in Paragould under provisions of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Kimberly B. Dale said that her requests to Robinson and members of the Quorum Court for various documents associated with the budget process in the county have not been responded to in an adequate manner.

Accompanying the lawsuit were copies of requests Dale submitted beginning Dec. 15, 2021 to Robinson, follow-up requests to Robinson Dec. 21, 2021 and Jan. 12, 2022, and letters and emails to each of the 13 members of the Quorum Court, all dated Dec. 15.

In her initial request, Dale specifically asked for information on the budget for the sheriff’s office since Jan. 1, 2021 including all communications, including emails ands text messages between any member of the Quorum Court, the judge’s office and the county attorney since July 1, 2021 “concerning the financial position, financial request, whether budgetary, financial or other that mentions or addresses the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.”

In a response dated Dec. 20, 2021, Robinson said the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office is the custodian of the information Dale asked for in the first five paragraphs of her letter, and “there are no communications known to or within the custody of this office which are responsive to the remainder of the requests contained in your letter.”

The lawsuit was filed electronically Jan. 27, according to a file marked copy available in court records.

The letters from Dale to Robinson and members of the Quorum Court identified her as a Branch, Thompson, Warmath and Dale law firm in Paragould.