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Bill Shielding Records Complaints Advances

Published On: Mar 12 2014 06:30:00 AM AKDT

A House committee has advanced legislation that would keep confidential complaints made with the Alaska Public Offices Commission until or unless the commission determines a violation has occurred.
Rep. Pete Higgins says your name is all you have and his bill, HB235, is intended to protect that.
The measure, which advanced from House State Affairs Tuesday, would require commission hearings related to investigations be closed to the public until it's determined a violation has occurred. Those who file complaints could not make that information public. If they did, the commission would be required to dismiss the complaint.
Currently, hearings and information surrounding verified complaints are public. The commission's executive director said one complaint last year was dismissed and six others resolved. In 2012, six of 18 complaints were dismissed.