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Posted inGovernment, Open records, Scott Walker's Wisconsin

Former cabinet members: Top Scott Walker aide ordered them to avoid state email, phones

Two former members of Gov. Scott Walker’s cabinet say the administration has had a policy of communicating official business through private channels. The allegations come as the Walker administration faces criticism for cutting public access to internal text messages and other so-called transitory state records.

Posted inGovernment, Open records, Scott Walker's Wisconsin

Scott Walker’s office ‘obstructed’ probe of missing veterans funds, investigators allege

The Milwaukee County executive’s office under Scott Walker “obstructed” a criminal investigation into missing donations to a veterans fund, two investigators alleged Friday in a federal court brief that includes recently unsealed investigative records.

Posted inGovernment, Open records, Scott Walker's Wisconsin

Update: Gov. Scott Walker backs away from changes to open records law but is mum on his role

The governor and legislative leaders declined to say whether the governor himself was behind the original measure. A review by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism shows similarities between recent records request denials from the governor’s office and the state Department of Administration and changes inserted in the budget Thursday by Republican leaders — similarities that raise questions about whether Walker himself was involved in the budget proposal.

Posted inCruel and Unusual?, Justice & Safety, Open records

Wisconsin prison guard fired for harassing inmates

An internal investigation found that DOC Sgt. Thomas J. Lukas engaged in “demeaning and harassing behavior” toward inmates at Fox Lake Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison in Dodge County. This included an email he sent to another guard making a reference to inmate Antron Kent and another inmate that was determined to be “sexual in nature and inappropriate.”

Posted inNews about Wisconsin Watch, Open records

You’re invited: Sign up now for Midwest Watchdog Workshop and Wisconsin Watchdog Awards

Journalists, students and the public are invited for an innovative workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on investigative reporting techniques to hold the powerful accountable. The event will be held April 8 and 9 at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St. It is being presented by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Posted inOpen records, WisWatch Blog

Wisconsin gets a “D” in ranking of legislative websites

Among advocates for open government, it is often said that public officials should not get kudos for doing the minimum. If the law requires a certain degree of openness and the authorities oblige, they might avoid a kick in the shin but won’t likely get a pat on the back. That may be the operative theory behind the “D” rating awarded the Wisconsin Legislature in a new 50-state ranking of legislative websites produced by the Sunlight Foundation, a national nonprofit group that promotes government transparency.

Posted inOpen records, WisWatch Blog

Don’t hike cost of public records

A ruling last year by the Wisconsin Supreme Court involving the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel became the focus of attention Feb. 27, when a state Assembly committee held a public hearing on a bill, AB 26, that would drastically increase the cost of obtaining public records. The bill, if approved, would let custodians of public records charge a fee for redacting sensitive information.