Wisconsin board knew public records changes were ‘significant’

The state Public Records Board used contradictory messages to describe its decision last summer to expand what kinds of records could be destroyed immediately.

To the public and news organizations, the message was: The board made a routine clarification that was not "substantive." That was the explanation given by Matthew Blessing, the board's chairman, in downplaying why the board did not even give advance public notice by putting the matter on its Aug. 24 agenda.

But to state employees, the message was: The board made "significant changes" to which records are considered to have only temporary usefulness and can be destroyed. Continue…