Evers Administration Continues to Eschew Open Government

They are consistent.

Gov. Tony Evers’ administration is refusing to say why one of the state’s top public health officials was asked to resign in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers says she was asked to resign from the Department of Health Services in early May and wasn’t given a reason why.

Now, Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm through a spokeswoman won’t answer questions from the Journal Sentinel about Ayers’ departure.

The refusal by Health Services officials to explain why Ayers was asked to resign comes after the department in at least two cases didn’t release information about vital issues of public interest, like which nursing homes and meatpacking plants were experiencing outbreaks and how many residents and workers at each facility tested positive for the virus.

The department didn’t notify the public of the resignation and replacement of the state’s health officer, despite holding weekly media briefings. The Journal Sentinel learned through an automatic email response that said she was no longer with DHS.