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AG agrees sex harassment complaints should be secret

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Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel

By TODD RICHMOND
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Attorney General Brad Schimel says he agrees with legislative leaders' decision to keep sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and their staff secret.

Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly last week said complaints will remain secret out of respect for victims and the accused's privacy.

Schimel has held himself up as a champion of the state's open records law. But he told The Associated Press during a year-end interview that the decision is noteworthy because leaders from both parties agreed the records should be confidential. He says he thinks they've struck the right balance.

He says one can argue the public should see the complaints to hold government officials accountable but victims expect confidentiality and it should be up to them to decide whether to share their stories.

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