Judge rules NBC15 can join the fight for release of MMSD open records

Oral arguments are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on May 25.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 4:43 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Our fight for transparency continues. On Wednesday, a Dane County judge ruled our station, NBC15, will have a voice in an open records case brought by the Madison School District’s spokesperson, who is suing MMSD.

At the center of the open records case is a records request I, NBC15 Investigates Elizabeth Wadas, made. After ongoing issues with the district’s lack of transparency and extreme open records delays, I filed an open records request for staff emails containing my name and NBC15. The request was filed on Dec. 19, 2022, and covered the previous year.

Now the district’s communications manager, Tim LeMonds, is trying to keep the documents from the public. LeMonds is so adamant about blocking them that he sued his employer after MMSD’s legal team deemed, by law, they have to turn the records over to NBC15.

LeMonds’ lawyer claims if the information got out, it would lead to “unwarranted, unfair and irreversible public ridicule and gossip, negative public perception, and jeopardize his ability to credibly perform his duties (with MMSD).”

In court on Wednesday, our lawyers argued we should be able to join the case and fight for the records since we requested them. We filed a motion to intervene, and Dane County Judge Rhonda Lanford granted it.

Oral arguments are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on May 25.

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