Ducks Behind $395-per-hour Lawyer to Assert Privilege Where None Exists
MADISON – Scott Walker was once again hiding behind a hand-picked lawyer, who bills taxpayers at $395-per-hour, to hide a damaging 2008 report that Walker previously had withheld from his own county administrator.
In a recent response to an Open Records Request from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Scott Walker’s hand-picked lawyer, whose chief job is to protect Walker from political and legal liability in the widening scandal at Milwaukee County’s mental health hospital, claims that he is “required” to keep the document confidential.
Scott Walker already has ordered his campaign chairman to withhold from the public a civics group’s report that Walker has driven the county to bankruptcy; has rebuffed several Open Records reports seeking to learn about the amount of illegal campaign work done in his office on taxpayer time; has promised, then refused, to release his college transcripts; and his running mate, Rebecca Kleefisch, refuses to debate her opponent.
As to the current stonewalling;
FACT: The request was directed at Scott Walker, an elected office-holder, and his chief counsel, a public official. Not to a private attorney.
FACT: It is not true that Walker, his counsel, or the County cannot release the document. Even if privileged, the County is the client, and the County can waive the privilege.
FACT: The claims of privilege have no merit in the first place. To be privileged, the document must have been prepared in anticipation of litigation. In this case, the report was commissioned for the County directly.
FACT: If Scott Walker believed Wisconsin voters deserve to know everything about his record, he would honor them and waive his privilege immediately.
“With the County on the brink of fiscal disaster, and with a sexual assault crisis at his County Mental Health Complex, Wisconsin voters deserve to know the truth about Scott Walker’s record on these issues as he seeks to become governor,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “Time and again, Walker ducks from scrutiny and hides the consequences of his reckless rule, and too many times the public has had to ask the question, “What is Scott Walker hiding?””
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