MOSCOW, Idaho -- The University of Idaho filed an Action for Declaratory Relief with the Latah County District Court late Monday afternoon to seek a ruling on whether the personnel records for Ernesto Bustamante, who police believe shot Kathryn Benoit last week, can be released.
Today’s filing asks the court to interpret the meaning of the Idaho Public Records Law which bars public agencies from releasing most personnel records for current and former employees without the employee’s consent. The question to be resolved by the court is whether this law applies after the death of the former employee.
“This is an unusual request, because it asks the court to resolve an issue before a complaint is ever filed,” said Kent Nelson, university general counsel. “It’s fitting in that we want to provide a timely accounting for the public within the bounds of the law.”
The university has been in touch with several media agencies. University officials say they are working with the media outlets to gain a timely answer to this question.