With the Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee set to meet Tuesday to review budget matters including supplemental budget requests, the 20-member joint committee's four minority Democrats today sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin requesting further documentation before they'll consider her request for $50,000 in additional taxpayer funds for legal costs.

The four, Sens. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise; and Mark Nye, D-Pocatello; and Reps. Brooke Green, D-Boise; and Colin Nash, D-Boise, cited comments by attorney Art Macomber, who appeared with McGeachin at a public event in eastern Idaho last week, identified himself as her attorney, and demanded that the Idaho Attorney General's office, rather than McGeachin's office, pay the winning side's legal fees and court costs in McGeachin's recent unsuccessful public records case.

The court ordered McGeachin to pay $28,973.84 to cover the fees and costs for the Idaho Press Club, which won the lawsuit; plus a civil penalty of $750 for her "bad faith" violations of the Idaho Public Records Act. (Full disclosure here: I'm the current president of the Idaho Press Club.)

The Idaho Capital Sun reported Friday that McGeachin's office denied its request for invoices for her legal fees in the case, saying it was "unable to find any invoices."

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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