Nampa Man Awarded 2012 Max Dalton Open Government Award

From the Idaho Newspaper Association

A Nampa man who went to the Idaho Supreme Court to get records associated with former Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney John Bujak has been named the recipient of the 2012 Max Dalton Open Government Award sponsored by the Idaho Newspaper Foundation.

Bob Henry of Nampa received the award and accompanying $1,000 prize at a recent award luncheon in Boise.

The Max Dalton Open Government Award has been given each year since 1999 to a citizen or group judged to be an outspoken advocate of openness in either public records or public meetings on the state or local level.

In 2010, Henry made a request under the Idaho Public Records Law to Canyon County to trace expenses made in an arrangement where Bujak would be paid directly for handling prosecutions in the city of Nampa.

The response he received was not acceptable, so he took his matter to court, leading to an Idaho Supreme Court decision in January upholding his rights to the records that he sought.

“Bob certainly had nothing to gain by taking on Canyon County and risking possible retaliation on himself and his business,” said INF Executive Director Tom Grote of McCall.

“He was willing to devote his energies, merely because he thought it was the right thing to do,” Grote said. “That is the spirit of the Max Dalton award – ordinary citizens who understand the law was written for them and are powerful tools in opening closed meeting-room doors and locked file cabinets.”

Henry, 60, was elected to the Nampa City Council in November 2011. He was assisted in his case by Erik Stidham of the Boise law firm of Holland and Hart, which represented him at no charge.

Other Nominees for the 2012 award were:
* Matthew Roetter of Hayden for his consistent use of the Idaho public records law to obtain information about government agencies, including the Lake City Development Corp.
* Tina Fisher of New Plymouth, whose efforts helped reveal that support by county commissioners across the state for legislation on oil and gas drilling regulations was not as broad as represented by the counties’ lobbyists.

For details of the award, go to www.idnewsfound.org.

From the Idaho Newspaper Association

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