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FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A judge has ruled that Fort Smith officials violated the Freedom of Information Act in email exchanges from last year.

The Times Record reports that the Sebastian County Circuit judge denied on Thursday the city’s motion for summary judgment in a civil lawsuit that claims the city violated FOIA. Court documents show the judge granted summary judgment to Bruce Wade.

Wade filed the lawsuit in June alleging city officials violated FOIA by conducting business through email instead of in a public meeting regarding potential actions the board of directors could take on the Civil Service Commission. The commission denied the police chief’s request to accept external applications for positions above patrol officers.

City Administrator Carl Geffken didn’t immediately say whether the city plans to appeal the ruling.

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Information from: Southwest Times Record, http://www.swtimes.com/