Magazine article Information Management

Suit Prompts Wisconsin to Revisit E-Mail Policies

Magazine article Information Management

Suit Prompts Wisconsin to Revisit E-Mail Policies

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

After a lawsuit revealed employees in one senator s office used personal e-mail accounts to conduct state business, the Wisconsin senate announced plans to review its e-mail use and retention procedures.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed a suit claiming state Sen. Dan Kapanke failed to release public records about two events in response to its request, the Associated Press (AP) said. The senator's chief of staff, Rose Smyrski, testified in August she often used a Yahoo! account when working at nights and on weekends. She said she failed to search her account for the requested records because she was not aware they were considered public and subject to the open records law.

After testifying, Smyrski turned over records from her account that documented planning for campaign-funded events, which the Democrats alleged were improperly coordinated by Kapanke's tax payer-funded staff, the AP reported. An ethics panel has cleared the Republican senator, but fined one of his aides in the incident.

Despite Smyrski's testimony to the contrary, records uncovered by the Legislative Technology Services Bureau after the Democratic Party filed suit revealed Kapanke and another staffer received at least one e-mail each on personal accounts. …

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