Wisconsin Democrats Call For Independent Review of Potential Scott Walker Interference in DNR Investigation

Apr 09, 2013

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin today called for an independent review of whether or not Scott Walker’s administration unlawfully interfered in a Department of Natural Resources lawsuit at the behest of a longtime Republican political fixer.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported on April 2nd that the Madison-Kipp Corp. had asked Walker’s office to interfere in a lawsuit filed by neighbors of the company’s plant on the East Side of Madison.

Longtime Republican operative Ray Taffora, who has represented other polluter companies, appealed on the company’s behalf to Walker’s office, according to a court deposition. In the same deposition, it was reported that a longtime regulator threatened to quit the DNR if pressure from the governor’s office warped environmental enforcement action.

According to the State Journal, the 30-year veteran testified that “he could recall no instance where a company went to the governor’s office” complaining about a regulatory decision.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin and the Dane County District Attorney (attached), Chair Mike Tate wrote that, “Citizens are entitled to honest services in their government and I’m writing to urge that you review the actions by the governor’s office to ensure that the public interest has been protected…and no state or federal laws have been broken.”