Dur­ing first year, Wis­con­sin ethics com­mis­sion con­ducts just one in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion -

A new re­port shows Wis­con­sin's of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment Ethics Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­gated just one al­leged vi­o­la­tion in its first year of op­er­a­tion.

The Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal re­ported that that's a far less ac­tive pace than its pre­de­ces­sor, the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Board.

The com­mis­sion's ad­min­is­tra­tor, Brian Bell, says the panel fielded 39 com­plaints of al­leged le­gal vi­o­la­tions from July 2016 through June 2017.

One com­plaint led to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged use of pub­lic re­sources for pri­vate ben­e­fit. Bell says fur­ther de­tails of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion can't be re­leased be­cause it's on­go­ing.

GOP law­mak­ers and Gov. Scott Walker cre­ated the Ethics Com­mis­sion, say­ing the pre­vi­ous Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Board was too par­ti­san.

Democrats and gov­ern­ment trans­parency groups pre­dicted the new com­mis­sion would be a far less ag­gres­sive watch­dog for Wis­con­sin's ethics and cam­paign fi­nance laws. — AP

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