Political appointees of the Department of Natural Resources discussed disciplining an employee after she provided public records to a Sheboygan County citizens group fighting plans by the Kohler Co. for a golf course on the shore of Lake Michigan, emails show.
In the view of at least one top official then serving at the DNR, the employee took the extra step of compiling information the group had requested, presumably in a more understandable form, rather than turning over raw data.
The case highlights the sensitivity of open records cases involving the DNR — an agency that under Gov. Scott Walker has come under fire from environmentalists and conservationists for a more pro-business tilt. Walker says the agency enforces all regulations but has sought to rein in what he says is the agency’s overreaching nature.
Environmentalists have sued the DNR twice since December over the length of time they must wait for records they have requested.
Also, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Feb. 5 that the DNR screens and shepherds records requests deemed politically sensitive.