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Computer examiner finds emails withheld from groups angry over redistricting

by
Redistricting graphic
Redistricting graphic

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A computer examiner has found 34 e-mails that Republican legislators withheld from two groups which sued the lawmakers over their redistricting plan.

A federal court panel was alerted to the e-mails Monday, but it’s not known what it will do about it.

The judges previously ordered three times that lawmakers and their attorneys from Michael Best and Friedrich hand over the e-mails to the plaintiffs. Those e-mails explain how Republicans redrew Senate and Assembly districts – districts that critics say are meant to give the GOP a better chance of keeping control of the State Capitol for the next decade.

After losing their lawsuit, the Hispanic and Democratic plaintiffs said they found evidence that Republicans refused to give them certain e-mails as the court had ordered.

They asked the judges to investigate – but before a decision could be made on that, Michael Best and Friedrich hired a Chicago law firm to do its own investigation. And that firm hired computer experts which dug out the 34 e-mails which were allegedly withheld improperly.

The computer firm, Project Leadership, gave copies of the e-mails to the plaintiffs. But they were not filed with the federal court, when it was told about the messages. With one small exception, the judicial panel upheld the constitutionality of the GOP’s districts.

They said the process was poorly handled, but the district lines themselves met the legal requirements of the re-districting that’s done every 10 years to correspond with each Census. 

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