DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A lawyer for the Iowa Public Information Board says agencies can keep secret the personal email addresses used by their board members for official business.

In a draft opinion, board legal counsel Travis Starr says private email addresses used by government officials can be exempt from disclosure under the Iowa Open Records Act.

He says the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board likely acted lawfully in redacting the email addresses of board members in records released to Bleeding Heartland, a blog that covers Iowa politics.

The board will consider whether to adopt Starr’s opinion next week.

Bleeding Heartland editor Laura Belin says anyone who agrees to serve on a board should be accessible to the public. She says agency staffers shouldn’t be allowed to prevent citizens from contacting board members to ask questions or report misconduct, and it’s “disturbing” the information board could give its blessing to that practice.

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