We have a Sunshine Week winner!

A Washington state woman who used the courts to force the disclosure of public records that revealed corruption in her county auditor’s office is the winner of the 2011 American Society of News Editors Local Heroes contest.

Gloria Howell of Stevenson, Wash., is one of three citizens recognized by ASNE in its national contest honoring individuals who fought tirelessly last year to make their state or local public institutions more open and accessible. The announcement of the Local Heroes kicks off Sunshine Week, which began yesterday.


Howell will accept her award at the ASNE Convention, April 6-9, at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.


Howell, a former Stevenson school board member, got involved after her daughter, Angela Moser, was allegedly fired from the Skamania County auditor’s office for theft and because of her concerns about irregularities in ballot processing and alleged misuse of public funds. Howell filed suit to obtain the records. The suit resulted in a criminal investigation by the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, a criminal referral to the Washington State Attorney General, an investigation and report by the Washington State Auditor, and the resignation of Skamania County Auditor Michael J. Garvison.


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