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Library board releases investigative report ... not

 
June 3, 2022
 

By Mike Weland

After being denied outright a public records request by the Boundary County Library Board for release of a taxpayer funded investigative report that resulted in a three-month library closure through much of the summer of 2021 to address legal and safety issues raised by four library employee whistleblowers, 9B Media LLC made a second request for the document May 20 in the wake of a tort claim served on the board that alleges many criminal and legal issues, including that of the board's legal existence after 20 years with maybe one election. The response was the affront expected.

On May 27 came the reply:
Mike,
I wanted to touch base with you to let you know we are working on having the Public Records Request you submitted, fulfilled by the end of business on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Kimber Glidden, Director 
she/her/hers
Boundary County Library
6370 Kootenai St., Bonners Ferry, ID  83805
208.267.3750

On May 31, a second missive; "The library's attorney's will have the redacted Investigative Report ready for you by tomorrow. I apologize for the slight delay. Please let me know if you have any questions."

On June 1, two emails from Glidden; at 4:28 p.m. "I am getting it printed for you now. It will be at the front desk to pick up at your convenience," and at 4:41 p.m., "I am attaching the information for you here as well. Have a great evening."
 
The first seven pages of the 33 page "Investigation of Complaints Involving Library Personnel," mainly policy and procedure, were "lightly" redacted. The remaining 26 pages were egregiously blacked out sufficient to render the release undecipherable and incomprehensible. It was accompanied by a "Notice of Partial Denial of Records Request."

In his July 2020 Idaho Public Law Records Manual, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden writes, "Open government is the cornerstone of a free society. The Idaho Legislature affirmed Idaho’s commitment to open government by enacting the Idaho public records law in 1990. The public records law protects each citizen’s right to monitor the actions of state and local government entities by providing access to government records."

Idaho Code Title 74, "Transparent and Ethical Government," addresses the dichotomy between open governance and personnel protection, and the provisions cited by library attorneys Tim Wilson and Rafael Droz, Wilson Law Firm, Bonners Ferry, were soundly slapped down in both Idaho Press Club vs. Ada County  and  Idaho Press Club vs. Janice McGeachin.

At 5:12 p.m. June 1, I responded:

No need for a printed copy ... this is exactly what I expected. I will be filing an appeal.

Thank you.

Mike Weland
Owner/Publisher
9B Media LLC
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
https://9b.news
mike@9b.news
(208) 295-1016

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

9B.News
Mike Weland, Publisher
mike@9b.news  

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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