Brickbat: Open Government


Officials in Malheur County, Oregon, have asked the local sheriff to investigate whether the Malheur Enterprise newspaper broke any laws when its reporters tried to contact county economic development officials after office hours or through their personal emails and phone numbers. Greg Smith, director of Malheur County Economic Development Department, said he asked the newspaper to "limit your requests to office hours" and to a single county email address. Smith uses two emails in his conduct of county business, according to the newspaper. The newspaper also reports that at a government meeting he gave the public what he described as his "personal" cell phone number, saying he was available "24/7" and telling anyone who has questions or concerns to "call me directly."