Eye On Boise

Push by Admin to amend Public Records Law prompted by gun-carrying Meridian man

Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey reports this morning that the state Department of Administration's push to amend Idaho's public records law to exempt security surveillance video from disclosure has its roots in a Jan. 27, 2012 public records request from Bryan Carter of Meridian, the same gun-carrying man whose actions on the floor of the House, where he rifled through trash cans and took pictures with his phone of documents on lawmakers' desks after joining a Boy Scout tour of the chamber, prompted a temporary closure of public access to House and Senate chambers on nights and weekends. Carter requested almost 95 hours of November 2011 Capitol security video in that request; he didn't get it, because it had already been erased and reused at that point, but he did get other videos. You can read Popkey's full report here.

 

"It just made us recognize that we need to clarify the language," state Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna told Popkey. "All we're trying to do is make it clear we can exempt records if release would jeopardize public safety." However, House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, said a new bill must not be overly broad. "We're all about the public's business," Loertscher told Popkey. "I really think you need to be open about what you're doing. The exemptions to the Public Records Act ought to be pretty darn infrequent."




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Betsy Z. Russell





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