UPDATE: Redistricting Case Settled, No Malicious Intent

UPDATED Thursday, May 16, 2013 --- 10:45 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A group of Democrats and an immigration rights organization which sued the state over redistricting have dropped their efforts to determine why Republicans failed to turn over records in the case.

Documents filed in federal court say the two sides in the lawsuit say they found no proof that thousands of files deleted from state computers were removed maliciously. The State Journal says the report indicates it could not be determined whether the deleted files were the result of "inadvertence or ineptitude."

The report is part of a post-trial effort to find out why the state failed to turn over records to the plaintiffs as ordered by the court. The plaintiffs include the Milwaukee group Voces de la Frontera. The lawsuit was filed after Republicans who controlled the Legislature in 2011 drew district lines benefiting their party.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Thursday, March 14, 2013 --- 11:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An affidavit filed in federal court says documents were deleted from state redistricting computers last year even after lawmakers' aides were told to preserve all records.

The discovery raises the possibility that Republican officials or their lawyers could face sanctions from the panel of three federal judges overseeing the case.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says nine hard drives were given to groups suing the state. That's because there were questions about whether legislators and their attorneys had turned over all the documents they'd been ordered to provide.

The affidavit says one of the hard drives was unreadable and appeared to have been tampered with. Others had an advanced file-deleting program installed on them.

A lawyer representing the firm that helped lawmakers with redistricting says the allegations are unproven.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Monday, February 25, 2013 --- 4:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal court has given groups suing the state broad access to computers used by the Republican-controlled Legislature to redraw political boundaries in 2011.

Monday's ruling by a panel of three judges in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee is the latest setback for Republican lawmakers who have repeatedly tried to block releasing documents related to the long-running case.

The ruling says the groups suing must have access to the computers immediately as they are "extremely likely" to contain information that should have been disclosed before the case went to trial last year.

The judges say that it is likely some form of fraud, misrepresentation or misconduct has occurred.

The lawsuit was brought by a group of Democrats and immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 7:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A forensic examiner's report says attorneys hired by Republican lawmakers to assist with the redistricting process withheld 34 emails to groups suing them despite court orders.

The report highlights that lawyers with Michael Best & Friedrich didn't provide subpoenaed documents even after the judges charged them some $17,500 for filing frivolous motions to try to block the release of other records.

The emails cover the methods Republicans used last year to draw new legislative and congressional maps that will help them in elections for the next decade.

The report was filed Monday as required by a panel of three federal judges.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a group of Democrats and the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera sued over the maps.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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