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Wis. Supreme Court to decide open records dispute

Local newspaper asked Juneau County for legal bills


The state Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether Juneau County must release legal bills to a local newspaper.

The Juneau County Star-Times in 2010 asked the county for copies of legal bills from an investigation into a sheriff's deputy. The county's insurance company handled the probe. The company hired a law firm and paid the legal bills.

The firm released redacted bills to the newspaper through the county. The Star-Times alleged the county violated the state's open records law, but a Juneau County judge ruled the bills weren't public records and even if they were, the county properly refused to disclose the redacted information to protect attorney-client privilege. A state appeals court reversed that ruling in 2011, however.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its opinion Tuesday.

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