Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Now the lawyers get involved

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Attorney Paul Bucher has submitted an open records request to dig into the matter of the Sheboygan Police investigating a local blogger posting a link on her website to the police department.

GATZKE & RUPPELT, S.C.
15730 W. National Avenue New Berlin WI 53151 PH: 262-814-1700 FAX: 262-814-1799 On line at www.grlaw.info
Chief David E. Kirk
Chief of Police – City of Sheboygan
828 Center Street
Sheboygan, WI 53081

Re: Reisinger, Jennifer

Dear Chief Kirk:

Please be advised that this firm has been retained to represent the interests of Jennifer Reisinger. It is my understanding that the City of Sheboygan Police Department has undertaken an investigation relative to the linking of the City of Sheboygan Police Department website to Ms. Reisinger’s website. I am unsure if the investigation has been focused on Ms. Reisinger or is being focused on a member to the Police Department for allowing Ms. Reisinger to produce this link. However, I
believe that aspect of this matter to be irrelevant.

Please accept this correspondence as a request, pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Law, for copies of all documentation, correspondence, investigative reports, emails and any other recordings or documentation, in any format, as they may relate to Ms. Jennifer Reisinger and/or the issue dealing with the directive ordering her to remove her link to the City of Sheboygan Police Department.

I also understand that an investigation had been conducted by Officer Johnson of your Department.

Please also accept this request, pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Law, for a complete copy of that report, in whatever format, as soon as possible. As you can imagine, focusing the resources of government on an individual, simply for linking to a public website, is unheard of. This appears to be a request at the directive of the Mayor, possibly for improper purposes or with ulterior motive. That remains to be seen. At this point, however, this firm will be conducting an aggressive investigation, in an attempt to determine the responsible party in this action and the motive behind this directive. Your cooperation in this regard will be much appreciated.
Thank you for your courtesies.
Very truly yours,
GATZKE & RUPPELT, S.C.
Paul E. Bucher
Attorney at Law
PEB/sac
Cc: Ms. Jennifer Reisinger

A similar letter was sent to the city attorney:

Please be advised that this firm has been retained to represent the interests of Jennifer Reisinger. I have reviewed as much of the material relative to this matter as possible. It appears that your office sent a legal directive to our client, ordering her to take certain actions relative to the link of a public site to her business website. It is my understanding that this “order” was at the request of the City of Sheboygan and/or the Mayor.

I am contacting you to inform you that Ms. Reisinger will not be removing any such link to any public site at anytime. If you can enlighten me as to the legal basis you believe you may utilize to order a citizen to remove a public link to a public site, I would be happy to examine same. At this point, however, this directive certainly does not pass muster. Obviously, something is not correct, as the Mayor has taken it upon himself to utilize the substantial powers of the government and focus them upon one individual who is utilizing her First Amendment rights.

And finally, a similar letter was sent to the mayor:

Please accept this letter as a request, pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Law, for copies of any and all documentation, correspondence, emails, recordings and any other types of communication, in whatever format, that may exist relative to Ms. Reisinger and/or the directive issued to Ms. Reisinger to remove any link on her website to the City of Sheboygan Police Department.

It is my understanding that under your directive, the City Attorney forwarded correspondence to Ms. Reisinger, ordering her to remove the link. As a courtesy, she initially removed the link, but after seeking advice of counsel, has reinstated the link. I am curious as to your legal basis to order the government of the City of Sheboygan to focus its resources on Ms. Reisinger, by ordering her to remove this link. I am not exactly sure what the City of Sheboygan finds objectionable in this link, but I assure you that no legal basis exists for the City of Sheboygan to take this action. We will pursue all legal remedies available to Ms. Reisinger in this matter. Again, copies of the above requested documents are being made pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Law and a reply is required within a reasonable time.

I’m not sure what Reisinger hopes to accomplish as I think all the major questions have been answered but it will be interesting to see what the open records requests turn up.

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