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Emails bring Vets Board firing of Scocos into question

MADISON - Newly-released e-mails raise questions about whether the state Veterans' Affairs Board acted legally when it fired former Vets' Secretary John Scocos last fall.

The Associated Press obtained e-mails showing that three-of-the-five board members came up with detailed plans to fire former Scocos a week before it happened. Scocos has accused the board of breaking the State Open Meetings Law. It allows a majority of state-and-local panel members to discuss public business only in formal meetings in which agendas were put out in advance.

According to the AP, the three members discussed almost every detail about firing Scocos a week ahead of their official meeting - and that included whether he should be removed physically after the vote. They also reportedly decided how to answer questions from the public about the decision, in which the board voted 5-nothing to fire Scocos and replace him with Ken Black. The Justice Department tells officials it might be against the law to agree on a uniform course of action before a meeting.

Scocos cited an alleged open meeting violation when he filed suit in December to try and get his job back. That lawsuit remains pending.