Gov. Brown appoints new public records advocate
Gov. Kate Brown appointed Becky Chiao as the new public records advocate, the governor's office announced Friday, June 10.
Chiao will take on the new role beginning Aug. 3, pending confirmation by the Oregon Senate.
Chiao worked for the city of Portland since 2001, first as a deputy ombudsman and then as a civil rights claims analyst, according to a press release from the governor's office. She previously had been a staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center.
"Ms. Chiao brings a background rooted in problem-solving, advocacy and facilitated resolution — all of which are critical to the functions of the Public Records Advocate," Brown said in a press release.
Chiao will replace Todd Albert, who has been serving as the acting public records advocate since Ginger McCall, the first advocate appointed since the position was created in 2017, resigned in September 2019 citing pressure from the governor's office to work on behalf of the governor, not independently.
In response to McCall's resignation, new legislation that would have made the role explicitly independent was introduced during the Oregon Legislature's 2020 short session, but the bill was one of many that died when Republicans in both chambers walked out and refused to return.
As public records advocate, Chiao will run trainings on the Oregon Public Records Law and facilitate resolutions to disputes.
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