The agency tasked with investigating ethics among Wisconsin's government keeps most of its activities secret. The Government Accountability Board has released information on only 7 of its 29 completed cases, according to the Associated Press.
An open records advocate says state law requires the GAB to keep information secret.
"It (GAB) would like more freedom to be able to comment on investigations it handles, but right now the law precludes that, " says Bill Lueders, President of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.
The Accountability Board's ethics division administrator has said the law should be changed. The panel can only give information under with certain requests such as from a prosecutor.
Lueders disagrees with the notion that current law protects from accused persons from unfounded charges, saying the opposite is true. He says political candidates can mudsling about their opponents 'being under GAB investigation for misconduct' while the agency itself cannot dispute the validity of the assertion.
Lueders group, which advocates open access to government, opposed the secrecy law when the GAB was formed in 2007. The journalist would like it changed but isn't sure if lawmakers will take up this session.
The Government Accountability Board consists of six retired judges operating on an unlimited budget.