Labrador clamps down on public records access at AG’s office, asks requests be mailed

From the Idaho Press

Before Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador took office at the start of this year, citizens could file public records requests via an online form. That capability appears to have disappeared from the attorney general’s office’s website.

The office wrote on its website that public records requests are accepted by mail. But for Idahoans who want access to those records, requests can apparently be made over email as well. The Idaho Press submitted an emailed request last week and was given a 10-day extension letter on Monday afternoon.

Public Information Specialist Emily Kleinworth said the attorney general’s office’s policy on public records is to follow state law. When asked if the AG’s office accepted requests that aren’t mailed, Kleinworth said this was the office’s official response:

“Are you serious? We’re literally responding right now to public record requests you submitted by email.”

Betsy Russell, the president and co-founder of Idahoans for Openness in Government and president of the Idaho Press Club, said requiring requests to be submitted only by mail would be outdated.

In 2006, Russell said, the Legislature passed a bill requiring agencies to accept public records requests by email.

“The point of the public records law is that the records belong to the public,” Russell said. “The rules are designed to make them easy to access.”

Labrador’s office did not reply to a question asking if the website would be updated to include that emailed records requests would be accepted as well.

Former Idaho attorney general Jim Jones said that while he was in office from 1983-1991, every letter he wrote was in a folder that people could access without having to make a records request. 

“But if they made one, they got it,” Jones said. 

Jones said Lawrence Wasden, who was Idaho’s attorney general from 2003-2022 and was defeated by Labrador in the 2022 primary election, had been a “real champion in open government,” but that the Legislature had, over the years, added more and more exemptions to the list of public records that can be requested. 

“Government runs best when it runs in the open and people know what it’s doing, and have the ability to get quick access to information,” Jones said. “But the problem is that you have a branch of the Republican Party that doesn’t like that too much.”

Want to submit a records request?

Public records requests can be submitted via email to,, or by mail to:

Office of the Attorney General

State of Idaho

700 W Jefferson St., Suite 210

P.O. Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720

From the Idaho Press

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