Local Wisconsin governments passed a recent open records audit from Marquette University.
That study asked sheriffs and county governments in ten states for arrest records, complaints about potholes, and hiring records.
Professor A. Jay Wagner says Wisconsin gets a perfect score, even if it took a while.
“100%! Some of them took longer than others. There was a request with Public Works in Milwaukee County that took 6 months to finally figure out. I had to drive out to Wauwatosa to get them.”
Wagner says there’s a sheriff’s department in Oklahoma that still refuses to comply with their request.
“They told us we can have the information we just have to come pick it up. They said the Oklahoma public records law does not require them to email the records or mail them to us.” That case could go all the way to the Oklahoma State Supreme Court.
Wagner says it’s important that this information is available, because a government that doesn’t want to be open with its citizens is a government that can’t be trusted.