On Monday, American Oversight sued Speaker Rob Vos’ secret panel for violating the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. That complaint is available here.
On Wednesday, American Oversight filed a complaint with the Dane County District Attorney alleging that a secret panel created by Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to advise on the potential impeachment of an elected state supreme court justice is in violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law.
The complaint asks the district attorney to void any actions of the panel that did not comply with the Open Meetings Law and take steps to prevent further meetings.
“Speaker Vos has convened a secret panel to quickly craft recommendations for the potential impeachment of a newly elected state supreme court justice — a fundamentally anti-democratic action that is of great public importance and interest. His efforts to shroud the work and the identities of the panelists in secrecy violates Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law as well as the state’s strong and well-established commitment to government transparency. We urge immediate action by the District Attorney and are prepared to take this matter to court to vindicate the public’s right to know what its government is doing behind closed doors.”
Vos has reportedly been considering whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Janet Protasiewicz, a recently elected state supreme court justice, if she does not recuse herself from a redistricting-related case. Last week, during a radio interview, Vos announced that he was “asking a panel of former members of the state supreme court to review and advise … what the criteria are for impeachment” of Protasiewicz. According to reports, the panel comprises three people, including former Justice David T. Prosser, but Vos has refused to disclose the identities of the other members. Vos has announced that the secret panel will complete its work within “the next few weeks.”
The Wisconsin Open Meetings Law requires that governmental bodies provide advance notice of every meeting and hold those meetings in open session unless specific exemptions apply, stating that American democracy “is dependent upon an informed electorate.”
A copy of the complaint is available here.