Monday, December 05, 2005

Judge: Open Meetings Laws Violated in Wahls' Firings

Dane County Judge Richard Niess ruled Friday that the state's open meetings law was violated when the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization voted by paper ballot in September 2003 to terminate the employment of Markley Wahl and Patrice O'Connor Wahl, who both worked for the Legislative Technology Services Bureau at the time.

In the decision, Niess said Senate President Alan Lasee, Assembly Speaker John Gard and former Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer violated open meetings law by meeting outside open session on three occasions to determine the JCLO's course of action. Niess also ruled that the JCLO's paper ballot procedure violated open meetings law.

Niess said further proceedings would be needed to determine remedies for the open meetings law violations.

See Niess' decision: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/051205jclo.pdf

Attorney Christa Westerberg, the Wahls' attorney, said, "we are extremely pleased that the judge recognized the JCLO was making important decisions without public access or notice."

See the release from the plantiffs' attorneys: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=50234

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