MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers is standing by his child services officials who warned a reporter he could face jail time if he reported information from a confidential child abuse investigation.
Evers said Tuesday the Department of Children and Families acted appropriately by sending an NBC News reporter a cease and desist letter threatening legal action, a move that media law experts say is likely unconstitutional.
“I believe it’s appropriate that DCF protects the kid in this case. Somebody’s got to stick up for that young kid who was deemed to be abused,” Evers told reporters Tuesday. “Somebody’s got to stand up for the kid, and we did and I support that.”
DCF officials sought to block NBC News reporter Mike Hixenbaugh from publishing information from a confidential child abuse investigation file, saying reporting such information would violate state law and could result in six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
As we put more and more privacy laws from HIPAA to FERPA to others, this is becoming more of an issue. Business and government officials hide their abuses and wrongdoing behind these laws and use them to thwart the people’s ability to get to the truth.