Open government advocates question closed-door DNR meeting

MADISON — Open government advocates are questioning whether a Department of Natural Resources board violated the open meetings law by going into a closed-door, unnoticed meeting.

The board was scheduled to meet Wednesday morning. Before the meeting began, all the board members entered a room adjoining the board room and closed the door. They remained behind the door for several minutes.

Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council President Bill Lueders says the meeting likely violated the law. He notes the Department of Justice has said closed meetings must be noticed and the government body must cite the exemption allowing the session.

DNR attorney Quinn Williams says the gathering wasn't technically a meeting because the board was getting briefed on security issues and the panel has no authority to take action on such matters.