Four state heroes to be inducted into NFOIC’s Open Government Hall of Fame

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, Sept. 16, 2021 — Four “Heroes of the 50 States,” representing Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, will be inducted Sept. 30 into the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s State Open Government Hall of Fame, as the Class of 2021. The inductees have backgrounds in law, journalism, and academia.  The 2021 inductees are: The…

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Founder of Wisconsin group saw FOI as ‘a guarantee for the rights of people’

Robert H. (Bob) Wills, longtime editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel and founder of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, died July 22, 2021, in Madison, Wisconsin, at age 95, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  “The role of the media is that of watchdog of government for the public. It follows that the guarantee of…

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Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council names ‘Opee’ winners

This year’s Openness in Government (Opee) Awards recognize Wisconsin’s largest newspaper for its dogged records-based coverage of the pandemic and its commitment to the cause of transparency in government, as well as a government agency that led the way in providing a maximum amount of information on COVID-19. Other winners include a municipal judge who…

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Law enforcement, open records advocates differ on Marsy’s Law interpretation

When overwhelmingly passed by Wisconsin voters in April, Marsy’s Law was billed as a major step forward for crime victims’ rights, but public records advocates are raising concerns that an over-interpretation of the constitutional amendment by some law enforcement agencies could curtail access to public information. Last week, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office announced it would…

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New bill would prevent Wisconsin lawmakers from destroying public records

A Wisconsin state lawmaker is introducing legislation that would prevent legislators from destroying public records. Other government agencies are required to keep public records for set periods of time. However, an exception state lawmakers wrote themselves decades ago allows them to avoid such rules. As FOX6 discovered in a recent investigation, state lawmakers regularly delete emails,…

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Clerk of courts files claim seeking reimbursement for $33K in attorney fees incurred during investigation sparked by judge

Ozaukee County Clerk of Courts Mary Lou Mueller said an investigation sparked by Judge Joseph Voiland’s false accusations against her and two other court officials cost her more than $30,000 in legal fees. Neither that investigation nor a criminal probe that preceded it found any evidence to support Voiland’s claims that Mueller, Ozaukee County presiding…

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