15 May 2020 Response from Governor Evers’ Office of Legal Counsel:
Via Electronic Mail Only
Dear Mr. Zellmer:
Please find attached records [5.2MB] in response to your request made on April 9, 2020. To fulfil your request, we searched all staff emails for the terms “park”, “parks”, “state park”, and “state parks” between the dates of March 23, 2020 and April 9, 2020. The responsive records are attached with this letter.
You will see that the records include some redactions. Under the common law balancing test, we made efforts to redact cell and office phone numbers of state employees. Making this information available would cause unnecessary and unwarranted interruptions to employees both at work and at home, affecting their ability to work efficiently. There is minimal harm to the public interest given that these same employees are available through publicly available means, such as publicly listed numbers.
We also redacted the phone numbers of members of the public that contacted the Governor’s office. Making this information available could subject the individuals to harassing contact and would constitute an invasion of their privacy. The public’s interest in individual privacy outweighs any minimal harm, especially given that no other identifying information has been withheld. The strong public interest in knowing who is emailing elected officials is not affected by withholding those individuals’ phone numbers.
We also redacted the non-public official direct email address of the Governor. Making this email addresses available would significantly hinder the Governor’s ability to communicate and work efficiently. There is minimal harm to the public interest, given that there are numerous public means to communicate with the Office of the Governor.
Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 19.35(4)(b), these determinations are subject to review by mandamus under Wis. Stat. § 19.37(1) or upon application to a district attorney or the Attorney General.
Office of Legal Counsel