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Madison, Wis. January 4, 2022 – A Dane County Circuit Court judge today ordered Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and his staff attorney, Steve Fawcett, to answer questions under oath from nonpartisan ethics watchdog group American Oversight regarding the failure to release public records related to the Assembly’s ongoing, partisan investigation of the 2020 election.
At a hearing on Tuesday afternoon, Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn said that she would order the depositions of Vos and Fawcett, stating: “The citizens of Wisconsin deserve the truth.” The depositions are scheduled to take place on Jan. 12.
“As the judge said, this is about the truth,” said Melanie Sloan, Senior Adviser at American Oversight. “From the start, Speaker Vos has gone to great lengths to conceal the details of his taxpayer-funded investigation while continuing to spread baseless conspiracies about the 2020 election. His failure to turn over documents in response to valid open records requests is part of the pattern. As the judge recognized, the public is entitled to learn whether documents have been destroyed or withheld. We look forward to hearing Speaker Vos’s explanations under oath.”
American Oversight has been seeking the public release of records relating to the Wisconsin Assembly’s partisan investigation of the 2020 election, such as documents detailing the management of the investigation and the contractors hired by Vos, the scope and conduct of the investigation, and Vos’s communications with staff and external parties. The watchdog group submitted multiple requests to Vos under Wisconsin’s open records law and ultimately filed suit in mid-October after the speaker failed to respond as required by law.
American Oversight is represented by Christa Westerberg of Pines Bach LLP.
While Vos and the Assembly have released some records in response to requests submitted by American Oversight — including documents revealing that taxpayers funded lead investigator Michael Gableman’s trip to visit the discredited election review conducted by the Arizona Senate — many other documents have not been released.
The watchdog group is seeking to ask Vos and Fawcett questions under oath to determine whether they have produced all responsive records as required by Wisconsin law, whether their searches for records have been adequate, and whether any documents that should have been retained were deleted, among other topics.
American Oversight has now filed three lawsuits seeking answers about the conduct of the Assembly’s election investigation. More information about those lawsuits, the outstanding open records requests, and the documents already uncovered can be found here: https://www.americanoversight.org/investigation/wisconsins-baseless-investigation-of-the-2020-election
The original complaint and other filings in this case can be found here: https://www.americanoversight.org/document/complaint-american-oversight-v-wisconsin-state-assembly-communications-and-contract-records-regarding-wisconsin-election-investigation
View on the web: https://www.americanoversight.org/court-orders-depositions-of-wisconsin-assembly-speaker-vos-and-counsel-in-lawsuit-seeking-release-of-election-investigation-records
American Oversight is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit ethics watchdog that uses public records requests backed by litigation to expose official misconduct, threats to democracy, and abuses of power at all levels of government. Documents obtained by American Oversight have supported investigative work by journalists, congressional committees, and independent watchdogs, and have been featured in hundreds of news reports across the country. Follow us at @weareoversight and learn more at http://www.americanoversight.org.
American Oversight es una organización sin fines de lucro e independiente que usa el acceso y la solicitud de los archivos públicos, respaldados por litigación, para revelar la mala conducta, amenazas a la democracia, y los abusos de poder en todos los niveles del gobierno. Documentos obtenidos por American Oversight han apoyado las investigaciones de periodistas, comités del Congreso, y grupos de vigilancia independientes, y han sido presentados en cientos de informes a través del país. Síguenos en @ojocorrupcion y aprende más en nuestro sitio web https://www.americanoversight.org/espanol.