Lakeland Times files motion seeking names of disciplined DOJ employees

MINOCQUA – The Lakeland Times has filed a motion seeking unredacted Department of Justice disciplinary records, the newspaper reported Friday.

DOJ released redacted records last year in response to a records request from the newspaper, The Times’ Richard Moore reported.

The newspaper and DOJ have resolved differences pertaining to redactions in one category of requested records — those dealing with law enforcement officers disciplined, accused or suspected of abusing a state database. The newspaper received those records last week, according to the story.

The outstanding dispute concerns the names of DOJ employees disciplined between 2013 and 2016.

April Barker, the newspaper’s attorney, argued that public interest in disclosure outweighs any reason for limited disclosure, Moore reported.

“This public interest arises from the public effects of the failure to honor an individual’s privacy interests and not the concern about embarrassment,” the DOJ argued in its brief. “The disclosure of certain public records might result in fewer qualified applicants for public positions where their privacy would be regularly intruded upon.”