Legal Mumbo Jumbo

For the four years I was on County Commission, it is safe to say that I was the most vocal opponent to the outlandish legal fees the county was paying to then Loudon County Mayor's attorney, Harvey Sproul. Almost on a monthly basis, I would pull the bills submitted by Mr. Sproul just to see how many ridiculous items the county had been billed for and there were many. I thought it couldn't get worse. I was wrong.

From the day the new Arp regime took control of the county, some public records have become off limits to the public. Most notable are the legal bills submitted by the new legal council hired by Mr. Arp. Robert Bowman with the law firm Kramer Rayson, has become the new kid on the block or in this case the new legal hired gun to run defense for Mr. Arp's absurd attempts to hide public records from the public and so far has done a pretty good job of it. In fact, local activist, Pat Hunter, has had to take Arp to court just to be able to gain access to public records.

To my knowledge, no one, not myself, not commissioners nor the media have been able to get a glimpse at those infamous bills. Makes one curious what's in the bills that Arp would spend thousands of tax dollars to keep secret. At last count $16,609.00 of your tax dollars to be exact and I'm sure that figure has grown significantly since the first of April.

On May 31st I once again requested to view the bills. About a week later I received a lengthy and convoluted explanation  (PDF) about how I wasn't going to get to see the Kramer Rayson bills, at least not till Mr. Bowman has removed all the information he doesn't want the public to see. The letter was full of a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that I guess was suppose to impress or intimidate me into believing that there were legal reasons to prevent me from seeing the bills. the cases cited in the letter had absolutely nothing to do with my request but I guess Bowman thinks he is the only one with access to LexasNexis.

I have responded to Mr. Arps silly letter and have agreed to play his game for now. But as I told Mr. Arp, some day his strangle hold on Loudon County will end and all those records will still be there and will become open to the public again.