Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Walkergate: Abele Continues To Stonewall

For months, I have expressed my concern about the way the Walkergate documents and emails have been handled by Chris Abele.

Abele has been doing everything to stall the release of these emails and has done everything he could to prevent them from being released in their entirety - even to the point of suggesting that Scott Walker go through them first to take out what he didn't want released.

Due to the long and unnecessary delay, I asked people to help put pressure on Boss Abele to finally release the documents.

People that tried to call Abele's office, but told me that they couldn't even get anyone live to speak to and that Abele's office never returned their calls.

One persistent gentleman finally got through to a real person, only to be passed off to Corporation Counsel.  As insult to injury, they didn't even give the man the right phone number.  When the man finally got through to Abele's corp counsel, they got snippy with him and told him that the documents would be released when they would be released.

The gentleman told me that he had gotten the feeling that Abele and Walker were in cahoots about this whole thing.

Finally, after much delay, Abele hired a private law firm to go through the documents, redacting who knows what from them before releasing them.  The first batch of documents were released in August.  The second batch, which contained emails was released last week.

It just so happens that I did get a copy of the second batch of emails.

The first thing I noticed on my preliminary look through them is that this batch is nowhere near being all of the emails.  It's not even close to being most of them.  Almost none of the emails that were released during the court proceedings were present in this release.

And as I feared, some of the emails are heavily redacted, like this one:

Not very helpful, is it?

Abele said that he wanted the private law firm to go through the emails and other documents to remove any personal information, but this is ridiculous.  Furthermore, that story is bogus since there are other emails that share clients' names, diagnoses and other identifying information in violation of federal HIPAA (privacy act) laws.

Now, that's not to say that there wasn't some good things in this batch of emails, which I will be sharing as I get time.

But the unnecessary delays and redactions, not to mention the many, many missing ones makes me question even more strongly at what kind of game Abele is playing and who he is trying to protect by not being forthcoming with these documents, which are public property.

Abele, with his antics, is making the late Richard Nixon look like the king of transparency.

You can help keep the pressure on Abele to do the right thing and release the Walkergate emails and documents - all of them and intact - by calling him at 414-278-4211 or email him at countyexec@milwaukeecountywi.gov and tell him to release the documents in their entirety and to do so immediately.

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