WILL Files Open Meetings Lawsuit Against Milwaukee County Board

Published on: April 18, 2013

[vc_row fullwidth=”false” attached=”false” padding=”0″ visibility=”” animation=””][vc_column border_color=”” visibility=”” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

On behalf of former county supervisor Joe Rice, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (“WILL”) has filed a lawsuit asserting that members of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors violated the state open meetings law on two recent occasions.   As none of the entities charged with enforcing the open meetings law – the Attorney General, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, and Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel – have opted to investigate the matter further after WILL brought it to their attention, Rice has the right to bring this lawsuit as a “private attorney general.”

The first alleged violation occurred during the March 14, 2013, meeting of the Board’s Finance, Personnel, and Audit Committee, where labor representatives were authorized to negotiate with at least one public employee union without adequate notice to the public.  The second occurred during the April 10, 2013, legislative hearing on Assembly Bill 85, the proposal to reform the structure and powers of the Milwaukee County Board, where a quorum of the Board attended the meeting without issuing any notice to the public.

“Our complaint has already brought about positive change,” said Associate Counsel Tom Kamenick.  “The County Board issued a public notice when its members attended the April 24th Senate hearing on the county government reform bill.”

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, as always, remains vigilant for any unit of government that does not follow the law, and works to advance the public interest by encouraging governmental units to comply with the letter and spirit of laws designed to inform the electorate and provide the public with complete information regarding the conduct of governmental business.

A copy of the complaint can be read here.[/vc_column_text][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#153955″ size=”26″ font_weight=”normal” font_style=”normal” txt_transform=”none” letter_spacing=”1″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” font_type=”” align=”left” animation=”” el_class=””]Case Documents[/mk_fancy_title][prettyfilelist type=”pdf” tags=”rice-v-milw-co-bd-2013″ tag=”streetcar-challenge”][/vc_column][/vc_row]