During a press conference Monday, Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs accused Alderman Adrian Henley of illegally accessing the employee files of Police Chief Mark Kizer, past police chief Tony Cauffman and Dabbs' daughter. Henley, however, said he did nothing illegal.
The incident in question occurred in January 2011 between the time Human Resources Director Shayne King was terminated by Dabbs and the hiring of Robin Ussery as King's replacement.
When asked how she learned of the alleged incident, Dabbs responded, "I found him in there. In the (human resources) office."
Dabbs brought forth the information during a conference with local media to address current issues of the city and the effort by Henley to gain signatures for a recall vote on the mayor.
Dabbs told reporters that members of the human resources staff were reprimanded for allowing Henley to gain access to the files. When asked if she felt Henley shared the information he found in the personnel files with other members of the council, Dabbs said, "Yes, I do."
Henley, however, said he did not do so.
Henley does not deny seeking information from the files, but claims he did nothing illegal. "Dabbs fired the HR director on her first day in office. She didn't train the staff in the office. I did an FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for the records. I am not the record keeper.
"It is the administration's fault for the staff giving me the records," Henley said. "They shouldn't have done it."
The FOIA request was for the files Dabbs had mentioned, but Henley added he also asked for and received the personnel file of King.
Henley maintains that the timing of the allegations by Dabbs is merely an attempt to distract from his efforts to place a measure on a ballot to recall Dabbs from office. "She is trying to dig up as much dirt as she can on me to avoid the recall," he said. "She is manufacturing events."
Henley has announced that he is circulating petitions to gather signatures for the ballot issue. He has not counted the number of signatures currently on the petitionsm but did say that in the first 24 hours of the drive, he had "about 100."
Henley states that if he had done anything illegal, "I would have been prosecuted by now."
Dabbs responded by saying, "I've been holding off on legal action for quite some time. I'd prefer not to spend my time on something this petty. I'd prefer to spend my energy working on issues in the best interest of Bryant."