Otter's ombudsman order had last minute tweaks

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Public records from Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office show that an executive order creating a new public records ombudsman had to be scaled back at the last minute over concerns it could step on existing law.

Otter issued the executive order late last month, naming Cally Younger the new ombudsman and calling on her to create an annual report detailing public record requests and denials. The move was in response to a request from the Newspaper Association of Idaho, which wanted an option to appeal denied requests without going to court.

While an early draft did just that, the option was removed from the final draft. Otter spokesman Jon Hanian says Otter's staffers felt it would be best to examine the public record process before trying to make changes.