MADISON (WKOW) -- A spokesperson for Gov. Scott Walker told 27 News Monday night their office inadvertently failed to locate two emails that should have been sent to a liberal advocacy group as part of an open records request.
One Wisconsin Now claimed Gov. Walker's office failed to release certain emails in response to a public records request, after comparing what they received to email records obtained and reported on by 27 News last week.
One Wisconsin Now (OWN) made a request seeking all official communications sent via personal and state email between Gov. Walker and former Chief of Staff Keith Gilkes from January 20 to February 20, 2011.
After comparing their records to the emails 27 News received from that same time period, OWN concluded there were a handful of records sent to WKOW that they never received.
"We're asking for emails that were sent between two people, which in this day and age should be a relatively easy request to fulfill and obviously one that they were able to do for you," said Mike Browne, deputy director for One Wisconsin Now.
Laurel Patrick, press secretary for Gov. Walker, said that some emails OWN should have received were left out of the records sent to them by the Governor's Office in July 2014.
"Regarding the request you mentioned from One Wisconsin Now, we had originally provided over one hundred pages of emails in response. It now appears that two of the emails we just recently located in responding to your request are also responsive to their request. These were inadvertently not located in our search at the time," Patrick wrote in an email to 27 News. "We now understand from your email that One Wisconsin Now is currently in possession of them, having received them from you, and we have followed up with them directly to discuss their request."
A public records attorney who spoke to 27 News on the condition of anonymity said if OWN could prove the Gov. Walker's office withheld records from the group, they could be subject to a civil penalty. That attorney also said purposeful withholding of that information could potentially lead Walker administration officials to be prosecuted for misconduct in office.
But Patrick said there was no willful intent in withholding the emails in question.
"It is therefore inaccurate to say our office has previously denied access to any of the records we provided you," wrote Patrick.