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August agrees to settle lawsuit

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Stan Milam
October 31, 2012

— Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, said Tuesday he agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against him but has nothing to apologize for.

The Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause sued August and four other lawmakers claiming they were hiding emails related to their official duties in their personal email accounts. The CMD and Common Cause claimed the legislators were corresponding with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that works with state lawmakers on model legislation by personal email to avoid freedom of information requests.

"We told them from the beginning we had no email correspondence with ALEC either with the office or personal email accounts," August said. "We told them time and time again, yet they proceeded with the suit.

"I went along with other legislators in agreeing to settle because I didn't want Wisconsin taxpayers to pay for a suit in which the outcome was obvious."

A press release by CMD and Common Cause claimed the five lawmakers, August; Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac; Rep. Dan Knodi, R-Germantown; Rep. Tom Larson, R-Colfax; and Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, "admitted that ALEC-related records were on their personal email accounts and are covered by the Open Records Law."

The CMD and Common Cause also claimed the five legislators "will pay $2,520 in court costs and attorney's fees."

August said he has not agreed to paying any costs or fees.



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