CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's governor has appointed the first state ombudsman for public records to oversee requests and disputes arising from requests for state records.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Ruth Van Mark was appointed by Republican Gov. Mark Gordon Monday.

Van Mark will determine if records are public or confidential and serve as a resource for public agencies receiving records requests.

The ombudsman will also mediate disputes between agencies and parties seeking information from the state. Previous public records disputes were settled in court.

Van Mark previously worked in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Subcommittee on Transportation, and Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe.

The ombudsman position was created through the passage this year of a state Senate bill clarifying the public records request process.

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