June 12, 2024

GREEN BAY – The legal dispute that the city of Green Bay violated rights by installing audio recording devices in City Hall hallways has shifted to federal court.

The Wisconsin Senate, state Sen. Andre Jacque and former City Council member Anthony Theisen filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city and Mayor Eric Genrich, making allegations similar to those in a lawsuit filed in February in Brown County Circuit Court.

The defendants chose to move the case to federal court, said Brown County Circuit Court Judge Marc Hammer on Friday, thus ending the proceeding in circuit court.

The plaintiffs allege in the federal suit, as they had done in the county case, that Genrich violated the Fourth Amendment rights of Jacque and Theisen by installing audio recording devices in the ceilings of City Hall’s first and second floors that illegally “eavesdrop” on private conversations that people conduct in the building.

In the federal filing, the plaintiffs ask the judge to direct Genrich to pay compensatory and punitive damages.

The city had claimed in circuit court that it had installed recording equipment to protect citizens and employees from events ranging from assaults to slip-fall injuries, by creating a record of events that had occurred. The plaintiffs accused city leadership of wanting to “spy” on citizens.

Hammer ruled March 2 that the city must stop making recordings. He also ordered that the city was not allowed, until the lawsuit was resolved, to release or destroy any recordings that had been made.

On March 7, the City Council voted 9-3 to remove audio recording equipment from where it had been installed in City Hall.

Lawyers for both sides met in late August in circuit court for a scheduling hearing. A three-day trial was set to being May 20, but the removal of the case from circuit court made that moot.

Ryan J. Walsh, a Madison attorney for the plaintiffs, said he could not discuss details of the case. An attempt to reach city Attorney Joanne Bungert was unsuccessful.

Email Doug Schneider at DSchneid@Gannett.com, call him at (920) 599-0809 and follow him on Twitter @PGDougSchneider.

SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM: Our subscribers make this coverage possible. Click to see the Green Bay Press Gazette’s special offers at greenbaypressgazette.com/subscribe and download our app on the App Store or Google Play.

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay City Hall eavesdropping lawsuit moves to federal court

free coins
free coins
free coins tiktok
free coins
free coins
free coins tiktok
free coins
free coins
free coins tiktok

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *