Are municipal employee disciplinary or personnel files open to the public under the public records law?
Yes, in some cases. Public employee
disciplinary or personnel records are not exempt from disclosure under
the public records law. Instead, record custodians must, on a
case-by-case basis, engage in a balancing test, weighing the public
policies favoring disclosure, including the presumption of openness
described in Wis. Stat. sec. 19.31 against any public policies favoring
keeping such records closed, including the public policies established
by Wis. Stat. secs. 19.85(1)(b), (c) and (f) and other statutes, against
releasing public employee disciplinary or personnel records.