JS managing editor on Flynn: No other police chief this defiant on open records requests

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn. | Photo: TODAY'S TMJ4 HD

JS managing editor on Flynn: No other police chief this defiant on open records requests

By Matt Montgomery. CREATED Jun 14, 2012 - UPDATED: Jun 14, 2012

Click here to listen to Journal Sentinel Managing Editor George Stanley's interview with Wisconsin's Afternoon News.

MILWAUKEE- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's managing editor is claiming the paper has received more resistance for open records requests while Ed Flynn has been Milwaukee's police chief than from any other chief of police or public official in recent memory.

George Stanley, Vice President/Managing Editor of the Journal Sentinel, told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure that their investigation into Milwaukee Police Department's violent crime stats started in 2010.

"We had been hearing reports that the violent crime didn't seem to be going down as much as reported," said Stanley.  "The chief has been touting four years of decline and 21 percent drop in serious crime in Milwaukee."

Initially police were amicable in the Journal Sentinel's open records requests -- granting the first 100 for free.  But since then, it has been a nonstop fight over open records.

The most recent example in this fight came Wednesday as MPD requested that the paper pay $10,000 for an estimated 800 crime reports.

That lead to this spat between Journal Sentinel reporter Bill Glauber and Chief Ed Flynn later on Wednesday.

According to Stanley, right after the paper got those initial 100 open records requests for free, Milwaukee police wanted to charge them $4,500 and it would take nine months to grant additional open records requests.  The Journal Sentinel and the city of Milwaukee are currently awaiting a court ruling to determine if the paper should pay for those requests.

"That decision, positive or negative, should affect that," said Stanley, referring to MPD's $10,000 recent request for open records.

Dana Brueck, a Department of Justice spokeswoman told the Journal Sentinel that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's agency had filed a "friend of the court" brief in the Journal Sentinel's lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee, now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Stanley said that in their original probe of MPD's violent crime stats -- which reveled 500 violent crimes were underreported to the FBI -- they received around 60,000 open records from a state agency and the Milwaukee County district attorney's office for a nominal fee of $20.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan has requested that Chief Flynn release an estimated 800 assault reports to the Journal Sentinel.