Adam Gerol, the District Attorney for Ozaukee County, has rejected a claim by the leftwing group One Wisconsin Now (OWN) that four conservative state senators and Governor Scott Walker violated the state’s prohibitions on logrolling and executive favor. In a letter to Scot Ross, the executive director of OWN, Gerol explained that even if what Ross alleged was true, it would not be a crime.
“After reviewing your material, and researching the applicable law, I have to conclude that your allegations -even if taken as true- would not constitute a crime,” Gerol wrote. “What you describe is not ‘logrolling’ and does not violate Wis. Stats. 13.06, Executive Favor.”
OWN accused Walker of making a deal with three conservatives, state Senators Duey Stroebel of Saukville, Chris Kapenga of Delafield and Steve Nass of Whitewater, that he would create an Inspector General position at the Department of Transportation (DOT) in exchange for their votes for the budget. Ross alleged that this is illegal under Wisconsin’s logrolling law which prevents lawmakers from promising votes for one piece of legislation in exchange for votes on another piece of legislation.
However, there is no evidence that this occurred and, even if it did, a Democratic legal expert told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that no laws were violated.
Gerol had some harsh words of criticism for Ross, stating that the complaint, “is nothing more than the wisp of innuendo.”
“Finally, while everyone has the right – if not the duty – to bring evidence of wrongdoing to the proper authorities, I ask you to reflect on whether this complaint was really done for some sense of political gain,” Gerol wrote.
Noting that Ross made similar baseless claims two years ago, Gerol said Ross should have tried to make a distinction between those complaints and the current ones if his intent was sincere.
“Those inclined to do so are quick to seize on mere theories of criminal behavior for political headlines,” Gerol admonished Ross. “This is wrong on many levels and damages the entire criminal justice system.”