Group sues to obtain Wisconsin DNR board chairman’s texts

DNR board member Fred Prehn says lawsuit to oust him is political
Dr. Fred Prehn presides over NRB meeting in June

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An environmental advocacy group filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking the Department of Natural Resources policy board chairman’s text messages.

Midwest Environmental Advocates filed the lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court against Fred Prehn, the board and the DNR, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The lawsuit demands that Prehn turn over texts sent and received about his term on the board.

Prehn’s term ended in May. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers appointed Sandra Naas to replace him, which would give Evers appointees control of the board. Prehn was appointed by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker and has refused to step down, ensuring Walker appointees maintain their majority on the board.

According to the lawsuit, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed an open records request for Prehn’s texts but DNR officials said they couldn’t find any messages responsive to the request. The lawsuit alleges that board member Bill Smith released texts between him and Prehn that prove such messages do exist.