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Out of court settlement reached in redistricting lawsuit

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Two groups that sued the state Legislature over its redistricting plan from 2011 have reached an out of court settlement.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the terms of the deal have not been made public, and it was not clear if there would be further action.

Groups of Democrats and Hispanics sued legislative Republicans over the way they realigned Senate and Assembly districts, which critics said was meant to give the GOP an advantage in future elections.

A federal court panel found that two Assembly districts had to be drawn again, to make sure Hispanics are represented. Otherwise, the court upheld the maps.

The plaintiffs then said they found evidence that Republicans withheld information about the process that the judges had ordered to be released. The GOP allowed the plaintiffs to examine its computers – and by then, numerous documents were deleted.

Lawmakers confirmed the deletions, but said they did not violate any orders in doing so. The plaintiffs also said at least 40 e-mails should have been turned over but were not.

However, the plaintiffs could not find evidence that anything was withheld that could have struck down the new district maps.