Idaho Dispatch has confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing two police officers at the Caldwell Police Department, but the city of Caldwell is asking for $105,000 for the documents we requested.
A source within Caldwell’s government, who did not wish to be named due to fear of retaliation, tipped off the Idaho Dispatch about the FBI’s probe into the conduct of two officers. One of the officers allegedly resigned in December 2021.
In Idaho Dispatch’s initial public records request, we had asked for all emails and documents with the word FBI in them, whether it was between city council members, mayors, police officers, police administrators, city administrators, and the FBI. However, the city told Idaho Dispatch that there were 19,768 emails, and the city estimated they would need $146,375 to fulfill our request.
Idaho Dispatch then submitted our most recent records request where we asked only for emails/documents from October 1, 2021, through January 30, 2022, a four-month time frame. Additionally, Idaho Dispatch only asked for communications regarding the FBI’s specific probing of the two officers.
The city of Caldwell responded to our request and said that 14,199 email communications exist regarding the parameters we used, and they need $105,289 to turn over the records.
According to the city, their attorney must go through each email to redact information that must be redacted. In part, the city’s response to our records request says,
While it is difficult to determine exactly how many hours it will take City staff and the City Attorney to complete the response to this request, it is estimated that it will take City staff at least 473 hours. Additionally, a minimum of 473 hours will likely be spent by the City Attorney in reviewing, redacting, and finalizing the response. If any photo copies are necessary, an additional charge of $.10 per copy would be assessed after the first 100 pages.
Idaho Dispatch does not have $100,000 to pay for the request at this time, but we will be submitting additional requests to the city for an even more refined search.
An email has been sent to the City Clerk, Debbie Geyer, asking why the city needs 60 days of working time if all documents have already been identified. Additionally, Idaho Dispatch asked why the attorney’s estimated time and the city staff’s time are the same. We asked Geyer if the attorney must review the documents and redact them, wouldn’t they need more time than city staff?
Idaho Dispatch has not yet heard back from the city clerk at the time of this writing.
Idaho Dispatch reached out to Mayor Jarom Wagoner and Caldwell Police Chief Frank Wyant for comment about this story. However, neither has returned our request for comment at this time.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more details become available.
Tags: Caldwell, Caldwell Police Department, F.B.I., Public Records Request