SALEM — Oregon’s public records advisory panel will hold a special meeting Friday to formulate plans to bolster its independence from the office of Gov. Kate Brown.

The state’s public records czar, Ginger McCall, announced Monday she plans to resign due to what she said was intolerable interference by Brown staffers, who she says directed her to align her priorities with the governor’s while giving the semblance of representing the public’s interest.

Since then, The Oregonian/OregonLive has published a series of revelations about the deepening controversy, including steps Brown and officials in her administration took to kill the Public Records Advisory Council’s only 2019 legislative proposal to improve government transparency.

Brown said in a statement Monday that she didn’t know about the power struggle between her top lawyer, Misha Isaak, and others in her office and McCall and her staff and advisers. But The Oregonian/OregonLive obtained a briefing memo from another of Brown’s attorneys showing the governor was informed of multiple instances in which Brown staffers told McCall she should do things their way.

According to contemporaneous notes McCall wrote, Isaak told her that he was her supervisor and she should not issue reports without first submitting them for his review. A draft opinion from the Oregon Department of Justice said there was no evidence lawmakers intended for Isaak to supervise the advocate in any way.

The council will meet by telephone at 3:30 p.m. and McCall invited members of the public to join the call to hear the public proceedings. The public can attend the meeting virtually using GoToMeeting software or hear the audio by dialing in. Details about how to do so are found at https://sos.oregon.gov/public-records/Pages/advisory-council.aspx.

According to the agenda, McCall will explain what led up to her resignation, share documents detailing some of her allegations and give her suggestions for increasing the independence of her office and the council. The council will also discuss potential legislation “to make more explicit the independence” of the advocate and council, “acting now to ensure public confidence immediately in (the council) and in public records issues going forward.”

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