Author Archives: Julia Hunter

Mequon officials charged with open meetings violation reach plea agreement, resign

MEQUON – Two members of the Mequon Police and Fire Commission who were charged earlier this month with an open meetings violation have reached a plea agreement with the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office and have resigned from the commission. During an illegal meeting at a Port Washington restaurant, Thomas Luzinski, chairman of the commission, and Charles Neman…

DNA backlog grows to nearly 800 cases in state crime labs

MADISON – According to figures released about four weeks after USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin requested them under open records laws, a backlog of months-old DNA evidence has grown to nearly 800 cases. Attorney General Brad Schimel, who oversees the state crime labs, released new figures Friday. Schimel, a Republican, is campaigning for re-election and has faced criticism from…

Northwoods River News proposes records lawsuit settlement

RHINELANDER – The Northwoods River News has proposed a settlement with the city of Rhinelander in a recent open records case. In exchange for the city’s payment of $8,000 to cover the newspaper’s legal fees, the River News has agreed to drop the lawsuit it filed against the city in August 2017. The lawsuit was…

Records reveal past conduct issues for former Summit police officer

SUMMIT – A former Summit police officer who resigned in August following an internal investigation violated the department’s code of conduct more than four years ago, according to documents obtained by Lake Country Now through an open records request. During a 2014 investigation, Todd Borchardt violated policy after threatening to arrest a group home supervisor who…

Former Milwaukee photographer Sherman Gessert Jr. dies at 83

Sherman A. Gessert Jr., a longtime photographer for both the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel, died Oct. 22, at the age of 83. Gessert joined the Sentinel staff in 1956, after graduating from Milwaukee’s Layton School of Art. He started taking photos for both the Journal and the Sentinel after the Journal Co. purchased the…

DOJ seeks injunction over records it says were released in error

OSHKOSH – In an unprecedented intrusion on news reporting, UW-Oshkosh is seeking to bar a journalist from publishing information obtained from documents it says were sent to him by mistake. Attorney General Brad Schimel filed a motion on Oct. 3 to reopen the open records case involving journalist Alex Nemec and UW-Oshkosh business school professor…

ITC releases formal decision on newsprint tariffs

The U.S. International Trade Commission has released its formal decision regarding the decision to reverse tariffs imposed earlier this year on Canadian newsprint. Among its key findings were: transportation costs, availability and reliability of supply were as important or more important than price to newsprint consumers; Canadian imports did not depress domestic prices; and the…

Barron County employee seeks to block release of personnel records

BARRON — A longtime Barron County employee has filed a temporary injunction to block the release of his personnel records following an open records request from the Ladysmith News. Mike Naczas resigned June 15 and is under investigation by the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, Ladysmith News editor Luke Klink reported. County officials have declined to identify…

Open government candidate survey results available

The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council has made available the results of its survey of Wisconsin legislative candidates for the Nov. 6 election. Of the more than 200 candidates who were surveyed, 75 responded. The survey, which was distributed with help from WNA members, provides local news outlets the ability to compare candidates’ answers —…