(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has issued the following statement in response to an allegation made by Representative Priscilla Giddings in a campaign newsletter this week.
The allegation was made over revisions to a report on child sexual abuse statistics in Idaho. The attorney general and governor send the report to the state legislature each year.
The initial report was sent to legislators on January 19, 2022. The updated report was sent February 3 following the discovery of inaccurate numbers in the initial report. An email accompanying the revised version clearly relays to lawmakers why the report had been updated.
In her February 15 email newsletter, Giddings implies a lack of transparency and later suggests the second report was issued to “make the numbers look better.”
“The revised report Rep. Giddings referred to was sent to the legislature following the discovery of an error in an earlier version. The figures initially provided by the Department of Health and Welfare were not accurate. When department staff discovered the error, they immediately alerted us and we issued the revised report with the corrected figures. I understand mistakes happen and appreciate the department quickly making us aware of the error.
“In the interest of transparency, we made sure legislators understood exactly why they were getting the revised report. This information was relayed to them in an email that accompanied the updated version.
“If her intentions were sincere, the representative would have come to us with her questions or concerns. That did not happen. Instead, she ignored the facts and attempted to craft a narrative for political gain.
“My office couldn’t have been more transparent in its handling of this matter. I stand by our actions as well as our efforts to protect Idahoans from both sexual predators and scam artists.”
-Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden