Penalty has been imposed on judge Robin Vos in the open Records Case. A Wisconsin ç found that one of the state’s top Republican lawmakers Robin Vos “violated the public records law” by neglecting requests for documents and communication related to a partisan investigation of the 2020 election.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has been ordered to search for and produce records relating to the partisan investigation of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin. Vos is also ordered to pay statutory fees, and attorney’s costs associated with the case, according to an order released on Friday by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn.
Why Were Speaker Robin Vos and GablemN scolded repeatedly by state courts?
A year ago, Robin Vos appointed former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman as a special counsel to evaluate the 2020 results. The Penalty has been imposed on Robin Vos in the open records case,
Vos has involved former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, which Joe Biden won in Wisconsin by an appropriate number of 20,000 votes.
Efforts to overturn those results failed in state and federal courts. Even after an audit found no rife fraud, Vos and Gableman moved ahead with a GOP-backed partisan evaluation.
State courts have repeatedly scolded Vos and Gableman for not turning over records.
Earlier this year in March, Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn found Vos in contempt for failing to provide records seeking information about that investigation.
In what ways does Vos violate the public record statutes?
In Robin Vos in the open records case, Speaker Robin Vos did not respond to four records requests for six months, as stated by the Judge in her decision. She said, “After the Court ordered Vos to respond, he finally did so. It took him one day.”
Her 20-page decision and order states that Vos failed to respond to the request for records ‘from November 3, 2020’ by instead producing documents from an unasked-for period but none from the requested period,”
The Court found that Vos had violated Wisconsin’s public records statutes by not producing records as soon as practicable, failing to respond to a request for a specific period allotted, and instead providing documents from a different, unasked-for period.
The JudgeJudge also wrote that based on the undisputed evidence of Vos’ ineffectual records practices, She could draw no reasonable inference except that Vos did not search for records in the first instance.
American Oversight, the government watchdog group, won its motion for summary judgment against Vos.
American Oversight, the government watchdog group that requested the records, won its motion for summary judgment against Vos. He is now ordered to search for and produce the documents within 20 days.
At issue are records and communication sought under the state’s records law by the group and other written agreements between the Wisconsin State Assembly. The parties investigating the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, copies of guidance or policy procedures given to those parties, and copies of bids, proposals, resumes, cost estimates, and invoices associated with the investigation.
American Oversight also requested copies of internal and external communications between Vos, the Arizona state government, and former President Donald Trump. They also requested copies of communication regarding the Assembly’s decision not to pursue a large-scale election investigation in Wisconsin.
The Court found that Vos retarded passing on some of those requests to his staff. The order states that as a result, Vos admits that responsive records could have been deleted after his office received a request but before Vos informed his employees about that request.
According to the Court, Vos’ conduct was not “arbitrary and capricious.”
The Court disagreed with the American Oversight group that Vos’ conduct was “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore deserving of severe damages and ruled against that part of the group’s motion for summary judgment. Instead, the decision scolds Vos for delegating responsibility for fulfilling open records requests to unsupervised individuals in his office, noting Wisconsin Department of Justice guidance. On the state’s general record law, ten working days usually is a reasonable time for responding to a simple request for a limited number of easily identifiable records.
Vos’ office did not respond to a request for a remark on the Court’s decision.
Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a group dedicated to open government, says, “The judge’s decision reaffirms Speaker Vos’ status as a transparency scofflaw.” He said there is nothing so complicated about the responsibility of records custodians under the state’s open records law that it should require multiple judicial rebukes.
Also, Read | Trump Hosting LIV Golf League In Bedminster
Lueders, who wrote a piece for the Examiner in 2019 about Robin Vos in the open records case, adds that Vos disregards the idea that he should be accountable to anyone on his sleeve. It is not a good look. He also added that the Speaker’s penalties should not be passed on to taxpayers. Vos should pay them with his own money since he broke the law of his own accord.