A judge in Ada County has dismissed a public records request case against Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird).
The case stems from a public records request filed by Erik Birch. Birch requested any communication from Giddings to former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger while he was still in the legislature.
Von Ehlinger was convicted of rape last month.
Birch submitted her request in August 2021. The Legislative Services Office replied that no such records existed according to the specific request that Birch had filed.
On January 7, Birch filed her complaint with the courts to compel Giddings to disclose any communication she had.
The court ordered Giddings on April 14 to disclose any information regarding the records request to the court for review. However, Giddings stated under oath on April 26 that no such records existed.
Judge Peter Barton of the 4th District determined that no evidence existed that Giddings was withholding any records and dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought forward again.
Additionally, the judge stated that evidence did not exist that Giddings acted “in bad faith.” Therefore, a civil fine against Giddings was also not granted by the court.
In conclusion, the court document states,
The Petition is DISMISSED with prejudice.
Because the judge dismissed the case “with prejudice,” the issue cannot be re-filed with the court.
Idaho Dispatch reached out to Giddings and Birch for comment. Giddings told us she did not have any comment at this time, and Birch has not returned our request for comment.
Tags: Erika Birch, Peter Barton, Priscilla Giddings, Public Records Request