WI Ethics Comm. Chief Refutes Assembly Speaker’s Criticisms, Calls for Legislators to Work with Commission

The Star: Republican Assembly Speaker Robin, “Vos likes that the board, which the Legislature created in 2007, is led by six former judges appointed by the governor to staggered six-year terms. But he feels these judges are being manipulated by [general counsel Kevin] Kennedy and other staff into serving as ‘a rubber stamp.'”

“Board Chair Thomas Barland finds Vos’ criticism ‘grossly exaggerated and sensationalized.’ Gerald Nichol, a board member since 2008, says he’s “never felt misled” by staff. Both praise Kennedy, whom only the board can remove.

Barland, a former Republican lawmaker, laments that in his five years on the GAB ‘no member of either house of the Legislature has contacted me before making public calls for changes in how the board operates.’ Nichol, a former Republican district attorney, sees a need to tweak some GAB rules but is likewise miffed that lawmakers ‘never come to us’ for input.”

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