Ada County Courthouse generic copy

The Ada County Courthouse in Boise.

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Press Club has filed a lawsuit against Ada County, saying officials repeatedly violated Idaho's Public Record Act in response to four separate public records requests from journalists.

In the lawsuit, filed in Ada County's 4th District Court on Tuesday, attorney Deborah Ferguson asks a judge to order Ada County to release the public records, contending county officials over-redacted some documents and wrongly denied access to others.

Ada County officials could not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Idaho Press Club is also asking that the judge order the county to comply with the state's rules for waiving fees associated with access to public records, and to require the county to keep a special log showing why any documents should be kept from release in the future.

In the lawsuit, Idaho Statesman reporters Cynthia Sewell and Katy Moeller, Idaho Public Television reporter Melissa Davlin and Idaho Education News editor Jennifer Swindell all contend they had public records requests wrongly denied, overly redacted or otherwise mishandled by county officials in recent months.

NOTE: In the interest of disclosure, it should be noted that I am the current president of the Idaho Press Club. This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information is available; you can read our full coverage here at Also, the Idaho Press is among Idaho news organizations, as is the Idaho Statesman, that is financially contributing to the Press Club's effort to bring this lawsuit.

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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