State Judge Threatens To Drop State AG’s Lawsuit Against Prison Board

( – An Arkansas judge is threatening to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Arkansas’ attorney general, which he filed against the Board of Corrections. Typically, in lawsuits against the Board of Corrections, the board’s corresponding attorney general represents the state-operated board. Arkansas’s Attorney General Tim Griffin filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Arkansas Board of Corrections without arranging special counsel for the board. If Griffin disagrees on counsel for the panel within the next month, Circuit Judge Tim Fox claims he’ll dismiss the lawsuit entirely.

The lawsuit stems from a legal dispute between Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the Arkansas Board of Corrections. According to Griffin, the Arkansas Board of Corrections hired a private attorney for the dispute against Sanders, violating Arkansas law. However, Griffin’s lawsuit is facing legal scrutiny as the board is one of the attorney general’s clients. Griffin denies violating any ethical obligation or state law, claiming his lawsuit will withstand any legal challenges brought against it. Griffin also said he plans to appeal his lawsuit to the Arkansas Supreme Court, depending on its outcome.

Griffin’s primary concern regarding the lawsuit is whether or not the Arkansas Board of Corrections unethically obtained outside counsel for its legal dispute with Sanders. Griffin said there are legal requirements for the board to obtain private legal representation, which the board didn’t meet. The lawsuit against the Arkansas Board of Corrections is the latest legal action involving the state department and comes just days after the board suspended staff members and filed a lawsuit against the state.

The board filed the lawsuit after Sanders approved temporary prison beds, which the Arkansas Board of Corrections hadn’t approved. The board claims the temporary beds pose a risk to inmates and prison staff, and Sanders’ decision to push forward is improper. The board also suspended Arkansas Corrections Secretary Joe Profiri and filed an additional lawsuit against Arkansas.

The Arkansas Board of Corrections filed the lawsuit against the state after Arkansas passed a law stripping authority away from the board. The person overseeing the lawsuit issued a temporary ban on the law, pending the lawsuit’s results. Griffin filed a request for the court to reconsider its temporary ban.

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