Wis. Supreme Court to decide open records dispute

CREATED Jan 8, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- 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.