UPDATE: Court: Legislator must turn over email records

UPDATED Wednesday, April 9, 2014 --- 11:21 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin appeals court says a state senator must turn over the names of people who sent him emails during the bitter debate over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's union restrictions to a conservative think tank.

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy asked Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach for the emails in March 2011.

Erpenbach released the emails but redacted information that identified the senders, arguing he was protecting them from possible reprisals.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that nothing shows why Erpenbach should be given more deference in his decisions than other record custodians and public awareness of who is influencing government is crucial.

Erpenbach issued a statement saying he is weighing whether to take the case to the state Supreme Court.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013 --- 9:45 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin taxpayers are on the hook for a $60,000 legal bill in a state open records dispute.

The conservative John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy sued Democratic Sen. John Erpenbach, claiming he violated the open records law by redacting thousands of emails he received during the 2011 fight over collective bargaining for public employees. The institute says it wants Erpenbach's uncensored emails that include the names of government employees who contacted him using their government email accounts.

Instead of letting the state Department of Justice defend him in the lawsuit, Erpenbach hired an outside law firm to represent him.

The Wisconsin State Journal says a Grant County judge plans to review the unedited emails to determine whether they should be turned over to the MacIver Institute.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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