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Judge: County Board Violated Open Meetings Law

County Board, Chairman Holloway ordered to pay $300 to the state.

A Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge ruled the Milwaukee County Board violated open meetings law by voting for a countywide redistricting plan without giving adequate public notice.

Judge Jane Carroll ordered County Board Chairman Lee Holloway and the county board as a whole to pay $300 and attorney fees to the state, according to online court records.

Taxpayers may have to pay for forfeitures and attorney fees, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Carroll did not order the board to take another vote on the redistricting plan, according to the newspaper.

The will eliminate one supervisor seat from the board – the seat currently filled by Supervisor Joseph Rice of Whitefish Bay. The plan will divide the village into two separate wards for the first time since 1970, placing Rice's home in Supervisor Gerry Broderick's district.

Nearly 200 local residents voiced their opposition to the redistricting plan during a at the Whitefish Bay Women's Center in June.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board opposing the change in local districts at a June board meeting.

Rice filed the lawsuit in his capacity as a private Attorney General. In a statement, Rice said he was pleased with Carroll's decision.

“I am pleased that the Court recognized the importance of providing the public with full notice of governmental actions and determined that the Milwaukee County Board is not above the law,” he said. “This determination is exactly what I was seeking at the April 21 meeting and I am glad to have the court reinforce the requirements that must be adhered to.”

Gordon E Lang September 27, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Judge Carroll should have ordered another vote on the ridiculous redistricting plan that was passed without the Country Board or Chairman Holloway giving adequate public notice. We have lost an important County Board member Joe Rice. The Board and County Executive Abele should be ashamed of their actions.

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