An audit released Thursday looking into how Wisconsin’s nonpartisan elections and ethics board handles complaints found no major problems, leading the panel’s director to say it should put to rest concerns about its operations even as Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker plan major overhauls. The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau report was limited to previously confidential records related to nearly 1,900 complaints filed with the Government Accountability Board between 2010 and 2013. The audit had two recommendations: that the board consistently resolve complaints in a timely manner and that staff consistently provide the board with the names of three people who can be hired to work as special investigators. Board director Kevin Kennedy, under fire by Republican lawmakers, said the recommendations were minor and consistent with the agency’s existing practices.
The report shows that the six retired judges on the board are engaged as they review material presented by staff, Kennedy said in a written statement.
“It puts to rest any questions as to whether the six board members exercise independent judgment when they make decisions about complaints, investigations and penalties,” Kennedy said.
As much as Kennedy may wish that to be the case, Republicans who control the Legislature along with Walker, who is running for president, have said for months they plan to make significant changes to the board, including possibly doing away with it and starting over.
Full Article: Audit finds no major problems with Wisconsin elections board.