Judge Rips Vos for Withholding Public Records, but Taxpayers Will Pay the Penalty

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester),

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), left, listens to Gov. Tony Evers' 2022 State of the State address. (Photo by Jonathon Sadowski)

By Julian Emerson
March 4, 2022

Assembly Speaker admonished along with GOP election investigator Michael Gableman for “unconsidered and irrational” conduct.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman violated state law by denying and delaying access to requested public records related to the investigation into the 2020 presidential election, a Wisconsin judge ruled Wednesday.

Dane County Court Judge Frank Remington determined that Vos and Gableman should not have withheld records related to the investigation that were sought in a lawsuit filed by the liberal watchdog organization American Oversight. The judge also fined Vos, Gableman, and the Republican-led Assembly $1,000 each (fines likely to be paid by taxpayers) and said they would be responsible for covering American Oversight’s legal costs related to the case.

In his ruling, Remington said the refusal of Vos and Gableman to turn over relevant records “violate the letter and the spirit of Wisconsin’s public records law.” In January, Remington ordered that records sought by American Oversight related to the investigation be made available. American Oversight has filed three lawsuits seeking records from the investigation by Gableman that taxpayers are paying $676,000 for.

“This is the sort of ‘unconsidered and irrational’ conduct deserving of punitive damages,” Remington said.

According to the Associated Press, Gableman’s attorney, James Bopp, said he will appeal Remington’s ruling and no records should be released while the appeal is considered. Gableman presented his most recent investigation report to the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections on Tuesday in which he said state lawmakers should consider decertifying 2020 presidential election results despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.


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