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posted: 1/8/2013 10:07 AM

Wis. Supreme Court: Newspaper has right to records

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Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- The state Supreme Court says a newspaper has a right to complete copies of Juneau County's legal bills.

The Juneau County Star-Times in 2010 asked the county for legal bills from an investigation into a former sheriff's deputy. The law firm that handled the probe released redacted bills to the newspaper through the county.

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A state appeals court ruled in 2011 that the Star-Times deserved complete copies under Wisconsin's open records law.

The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Tuesday the bills are public records because they were produced during the course of the law firm's work for the county. The majority didn't take up the actual redactions, letting the appellate ruling stand on that issue.

An attorney representing the county didn't immediately return messages.

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