Former Razorback Coach John L. Smith Seeks To Limit Public Access to Bankruptcy Documents

Upon further review, John L. Smith decided to withdraw a request that would have allowed his or his former business partners’ attorneys to decide which documents tied to his Chapter 7 bankruptcy case would be marked confidential.

The former Arkansas Razorbacks football coach filed the request in December, and we understand that a two-day deposition involving Smith was one thing that he wanted to keep out of the public’s eye. His attorney and attorneys for the creditors had prepared the order for Bankruptcy Judge Ben Barry of Fayetteville to sign.

But the U.S. trustee who oversees the bankruptcy courts in Arkansas, Nancy Gargula, filed a motion asking that Smith’s request be denied because the order would limit her ability to monitor the case. A hearing was scheduled for Feb. 13, but the request was withdrawn.

Adam Kegley of Lexington, Ky., who represents one of Smith’s former partners, has said he couldn’t comment on the case. Smith’s attorney, Jill Jacoway of Fayetteville, hasn’t returned calls to Whispers.

It was in Louisville, Ky., that Smith’s real estate investments backfired. He said he thought he would be responsible only for a prorated share of the losses of the LLCs in which he invested. He was wrong.

He filed for bankruptcy protection in September and listed $40.7 million in debts and $1.3 million in assets.

So far, two creditors have filed lawsuits in bankruptcy court to prevent Smith from discharging his debts to them and charged that Smith attempted to “hinder, delay or defraud his creditors.”

Smith denied any wrongdoing and asked that the case be dismissed.