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

Records: Waukesha police failed to cite off-duty officer for OWI

WAUKESHA – Records obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have revealed that two Waukesha police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop involving an off-duty New Berlin officer whose blood-alcohol concentration was over the legal limit. Officer Bryan Spakowicz, who conducted the stop, didn’t conduct field sobriety tests after New Berlin Officer Zachary Burow admitted to drinking two beers earlier…

More open meetings questions raised in Sauk County

A last-minute move Tuesday by a Sauk County committee prohibited the County Board from voting on a gun rights referendum. While acting on the issue would have violated the state’s Open Meetings Law, some supervisors still sought to circumvent the committee’s vote, the Baraboo News Republic reported.

DOJ: Sauk County meeting notice was insufficient

BARABOO – The Wisconsin Department of Justice has found that Sauk County officials should have provided more specific notice to the public before adopting new procedures for handling employee complaints and fraud investigations, the Baraboo News Republic reported. The DOJ’s findings are in response to an Open Meetings Law complaint the newspaper filed in January….

Records detail weeks leading up to Appleton murder-suicide

APPLETON – When four Appleton area women were killed in apparent incidents of domestic violence over the course of just 10 months, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin took a close look at the cases. In one case that ended in a murder-suicide, the news network took the unusual step of detailing family dynamics because of community concerns…