Saturday, December 07th

CLOSE

MADISON - Lafayette County leaders who wanted to prosecute reporters would have kept the public in the dark if they hadn't abandoned the effort, Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday.

A county board in southeastern Wisconsin on Tuesday shelved its plans to prosecute journalists and discipline elected officials over how they handle information about the county's water quality. 

Evers said Wednesday the leaders would have brought attitudes from President Donald Trump's administration to Wisconsin local government. 

"I think taking on the media is not a really good idea -- they're there for a reason," Evers said after a bill signing ceremony in Wisconsin Dells. "Obviously we see that playing out in Washington D.C. If we want to have our story told and people understanding what government is doing, we need a media that feels comfortable asking the difficult questions just like all of you do with me."

Evers said putting journalists in a position to defend themselves legally for asking difficult questions "is not where we should be as a country or as a state.