Judge won’t reconsider ruling on CAPC appointments

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson will not reconsider his recent decision regarding the makeup of the Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Jackson ruled at the conclusion of a June 25 hearing that the appointments of Melissa Greene, Harry Meyer and Carol Wright were legal. Attorney Tim Parker had argued that Greene and Meyer’s appointments were illegal because they are members of the Eureka Springs City Council and that Wright’s appointment also violated state law because she was not a resident of Eureka Springs.

After Jackson ruled in favor of the three commissioners, Parker filed a motion on June 28 requesting the judge to reconsider the issue.

Jackson issued a written order on July 29 in response to Parker’s motion.

“Ark. Code Ann. Sesc. 26-76-605 provides for the creation of Arkansas advertising and promotion commissions,” Jackson writes. “These commissions are made up of seven (7) members and within that group the statute sets up three (3) different classes of qualifications for the positions: Four (4) business owners. Two (2) of the members must also be city council members AND One (1) member may reside in the county of the municipality. The Eureka Springs commission complies with this statute.

“This Court does not find this to be in violation of the Arkansas Constitution. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION IS DENIED.”

Parker represents CAPC finance director Rick Bright, group sales coordinator Karen Pryor, former interim director Gina Rambo, former special events coordinator Tracy Johnson and former commissioner Greg Moon in a lawsuit, originally filed in March, that makes multiple claims against a group of defendants including Greene, Meyer and Wright.

Other defendants in the suit are CAPC commissioners Jeff Carter and James DeVito, former commissioner Patrick Burnett, Mayor Butch Berry; mayoral assistant Kim Stryker; and two insurance companies that provide policies to the city.

Attorneys for one of those insurance firms, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, filed a motion for summary judgment on Aug. 5, arguing that all of the claims asserted in the lawsuit fall outside the scope of the coverage provided under its policy with the CAPC.

No hearing date is currently scheduled.

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