17 Aug AG accuses BioCATT of violating meetings law
Kenosha, Wis. – Two leaders of The Center for Bioscience and the Integration of Computer and Telecommunications Technology, Inc., an entity of Kenosha’s Gateway Technical College, have come under legal scrutiny for alleged violations of the state open meetings law in a complaint filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Executive director Thomas Pleuger and chairperson Mark Naidicz of BioCATT could pay a maximum fine of $2,000 each for holding four meetings that were not preceded by public notice. Because BioCATT is a nonprofit, quasigovernmental corporation, it falls under the jurisdiction of open meetings and public records laws.
On July 21, Assistant Attorney General Monica Burkert-Brist of the Department of Justice warned Pleuger and BioCATT’s legal counsel that in order to avoid penalties, BioCATT would need to bring itself into compliance with the law. Pleuger and Naidcz’s alleged refusal to do so invited a complaint filed the Kenosha County Circuit Court.
Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager now has filed a similar complaint in Kenosha County Circuit Court. “BioCATT is using taxpayer dollars to perform services on behalf of a taxpayer supported entity,” Lautenschlager said in a release. “There is no reason its operations shouldn’t be conducted in the open, so taxpayers can see what’s being done with our tax money.”
The Attorney General noted that the open meetings law would allow BioCATT to close its meetings if there were legitimate reasons for doing so.
The meetings listed in the complaint occurred on Dec. 17, 2003; April 5, 2004; June 16, 2004; and Aug. 10, 2004. BioCATT, which operates a 30,400-square-foot computer science and telecommunications facility built by Gateway Technical College, was incorporated with the state of Wisconsin on March 4, 2003. Its stated purpose is to promote economic development in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois.
Neither Pleuger nor Naidicz could be reached for comment.
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