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Sunday, September 8, 2013

FOIA - USA PUBLIC RECORDS LAW - What you need to know

September 8, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Today's update for MPA LLC Consumer Protection Group highlights the importance of TRUST and  believeability of the Public Information Act.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute.[1][2] It was originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, despite his misgivings,[3] on July 4, 1966 as 5 U.S.C. § 552 and went into effect the following year.[4]
The Federal Government's Freedom of Information Act should not be confused with the different and varying Freedom of Information Acts passed by the individual states. Many of those state acts may be similar but not identical to the federal act.  Wikipedia

Why make a fuss
One of the keys to TRUST and better policies in the marketplace is the equity and transparency of the laws, to enforce the good ones and to remove the laws that do not regulate and guide best practices for accountability of ALL; this is especially true when it comes to those we put in office and those they appoint and hire.

There must be a ZERO tolerance when it comes to identifying those who compromise the process of fairness in the marketplace - anti-trust, discrimination, cronyism, conflict of interest, blind-eye to favors and cover-ups.  It is most egregious when those we elect are the "criminals" in the acts.  They must be held to the same standards as any violator, only with the elected-appointed-hired violator they should have hefty fines, charged with a felony and misdemeanors for immediate removal of office, forfeiture of any retirement and sent to jail.

Like many laws that affect millions of folk, especially those fok disadvantaged for whatever reason, when the law and/or regulation is NOT enforced it sens the wrong message.  It not only erodes the trust of the people, it significantly put in place misuse such as FRAUD and ignoring with "arrogance" human-civi-legal rights.

Each one of us have the responsibility to ensure that STANDARDS are put in place for the GREATER GOOD of all.  The Code of Conduct that is on the front burner each day is only as good as it is enforced by ALL.

MPA LLC Consumer Protection Group has added FOIA to its Reporting and Reports.
It is a priority for enforcement.  There are three flaggs that are of immediate discouragement.  They are:   1)  Anti-Trust and 2) Discrimination , and 3) Isolation.

5-Year Signature Plan
During Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC, 5-year investigation, requesting information was the main way of obtaining information through many Open Letters sent during the 2005-2010 Smart Growth Signature Plan.  It was clear that those in government were the biggest violators.

Time-and-time again, they were deceptive and did not share information per the law.  Their lawyers would find ways to get-around the Public Information Request.  As a matter of fact,  the following methods were commonly used.  They were:
  • NO response.
  • Delayed information.
  • Delayed information that was incomplete.
  • Delayed and incomplete information with significant cost.  
  • Delayed response with NO information, claiming not clear or not available.
  • Questionable "protected from disclosure" response.
  • Questionable refusals due to "vague request" but no mention of what would offer "CLARITY"
  • Questionable "redacted" information.
Two things are noticed by Glass during the many requests that returned with one or more of the above response, there was/is an 'Arrogance" in NO response; and, NO fear of reprisal according to law.

Who's Who List
There is a "culture" that must be replaced in our government offices that we depend on. Their lack of role and responsibility as "public servants" has become "when-and-if-I-want-to-with-shameless-arrogance".  Enforcement of the laws on the table and NEW ones to reflect today's climate can put in check the "running wild" behavior.  Below are 50 plus who have engaged in NO response and/or one of the above obstructions.  Some FOIA requests have been requested multiple times.  This is an incomplete list of city, county, state and federal violators.  Violators to-date include:

City of Milwaukee
City of Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis
City of Milwaukee Alderman Willie Hines
City of Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac
City of Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs
City of Milwaukee Attorney Grant Langley
City of Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines
City of Milwaukee Department of City Development Rocky Marcoux, Julie Penman and Michael Morgan
City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works Jeff Mantes and Mariano Schifalacqua
City of Milwaukee Ethics Committee
City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and John Norquist
City of Milwaukee Tax Assessor Mary Reavy
Milwaukee County
Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic
Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors 
Milwaukee County Department of Aging - Program Director Diane Beckley
Milwaukee County District Attorney Office – John Chisholm
Milwaukee County Ethics Committee - Executive Director Veronica Robinson and Board Members:  Chairman Attorney David Carr, V. Chairman Henry Hamilton, Christain Flores, Carol L. Wichmann, Rev. Gary Manning, Marcia F. Drame, Esq, Corporation Counsel Jennifer Walker
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
Milwaukee County Contractor and Ethics Board referral - Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
Milwaukee County Justice Committee - Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers, District Attorney John Chisholm, County Executive Chris Abele, Kit Murphy McNally,  MCSO Inspector Richard Schmidt, Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., County Supervisor Willie Johnson,  First Assistant Public Defender Tom Reed
Milwaukee Public Schools/MPS
Milwaukee School Board – Board of Governance - Lynne A. Sobczak
Milwaukee School Board – Michael Bond and Peter Blewett
Milwaukee School Superintendent Gregory Thornton
U. S. Department of Education/DOE
U.S. Department of Education – Arne Duncan
U. S. Federal Emergency Management Agency/FEMA
U.S. FEMA – Deputy Administrator Richard Serino - UW-Milwaukee
U. S. Department of Labor/DOL
U.S. Department of Labor
U. S. Health & Human Service/HHS
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Attorney Leon Rodriquez
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Dr. Farzad Mostashari 
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Director Jackie Garner
U. S. Department of Housing or Urban Development/HUD
U.S. HUD Housing - Region 5, Antonio Riley
U.S. HUD Housing - Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones
U.S. HUD Housing - Secretary Shaun Donovan
U.S. HUD-CDBG Milwaukee – Michael Martin
U. S. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
U.S. Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans and V. President Gordon Werkema
U. S. Small Business Administration/SBA
U. S. Small Business Chief  and Deputy Administrators Karen Mills and Marie Johns
U. S. Small Business Regional Administrator Marianne Markowitz
U.S. Small Business District Director Eric Ness
University of Wisconsin System
UW System – Robin Van Harpin (attorney)
UW System Board of Regents – Charles Pruitt, Brent Smith, Michael Spector, Jane Radue, Kevin Reilly
UW System Board of Regents Michael Lovell Board Selection Committee -  Danae Davis, Judith Crain and Jose Vasquez
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee/UWM
UW-Milwaukee – Campus Police Department, Chief Marzion
UW-Milwaukee Office of Chancellor Michael Lovell and Jim Hill
UW-Milwaukee Professor Mark Schwartz (Michael Lovell Selection Chair)
UW-Milwaukee Real Estate Foundation, Arthur Smith and Sheldon Lubar (Michael Lovell Selection Committee)
UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Work - Dan Bader 

State of Wisconsin 
WI Department of Administration – Secretary Mike Huebsch
WI Department of Commerce – Secretary Paul Jadin
WI Department of Education – Superintendents Tony Evers and Elizabeth Burmaster
WI Financial Institution - Secretary Peter Bildsten
WI Governors Scott Kevin Walker and Jim Doyle
WI Health and Human Services – Secretary Charles Smith
WI Health and Human Services Medicaid - Director Brett Davis
WI Insurance Commissioner – Ted Nickel
WI WHEDA Office – Wyman Winston
WI Workforce Development Secretaries – Reggie Newsom and Roberta Gassman

Wisconsin Public Records Law
Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31 - 19.39
Compliance Outline
(September 2012)

Review for yourself the FOIA/Freedom of Information Act information, CLICK


Updated:  September 9, 2013

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