MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers is turning over more than 10,000 pages in documents to Republican state Rep. John Nygren, and paying the lawmaker’s $40,000 in legal fees, in order to settle an open-records lawsuit.
Evers announced the conclusion of the lawsuit late Friday. Evers said in the statement that records would be provided to Nygren, co-chair of the Legislature’s powerful budget committee, after being reviewed by the state Department of Justice.
Nygren sued Evers in November after the governor denied a request Nygren made in August for records related to a farmer mental-health program run by the state agriculture department. He also sought records from Evers that referred to any of five other Republican legislative leaders.
Nygren then said that he needed the information to help the budget committee decide whether to release $100,000 in annual spending placed in the budget to address farmer mental health assistance.
He sought the same information from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which complied with the request. Evers initially objected, saying Nygren’s request was too broad.
“It took over six months, but Governor Evers finally realizes he broke the law and has now agreed to fulfill the original request for records,” Nygren said in a statement