Openness Report

The Wisconsin Openness Report, a weekly newsletter produced by the WNA, highlights coverage of public records, open meetings and First Amendment issues. If you’ve recently written a story about open government or free speech, please email us at Julia.Hunter@wnanews.com.

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 —…

Wisconsin FOIC co-vice president reflects on 40 years of transparency

In light of the group’s 40th anniversary celebration later this month, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Co-Vice President Christa Westerberg sat down with MuckRock to discuss the group’s work promoting transparency in Wisconsin. Westerberg, who is also a practicing attorney, highlighted improvements in open government, challenges the group has faced and issues it hopes to solve. » Read…

Police body camera committee to discuss draft bill

Members of a legislative study committee on police body camera legislation are expected to discuss a bill draft during an Oct. 17 meeting in Madison. The draft includes language that would require a law enforcement agency to post its policy online and it also sets a longer retention period for encounters including use of force.

Injunction request against Kenosha News, Chicago Tribune withdrawn

KENOSHA – A former middle school principal who resigned during an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations has withdrawn his request for an injunction. Former Washington Middle School Principal Curtiss Tolefree was seeking to block the Kenosha News and Chicago Tribune from printing stories based on personnel documents. The records, which he argues were illegally released, relate to sexual misconduct allegations…