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— The feds are planning to conduct a review of the Wisconsin National Guard’s sexual misconduct procedures, Gov. Tony Evers announced today.
Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, last month called for an examination of the Wisconsin Guard’s policies to be conducted by the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations — a federal agency that provides oversight of Guard units across the country.
The request came after some Wisconsin Guard members came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault and highlighted a lack of accountability for those accused of sexual misconduct. One female guard member wrote to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald in January that her sergeant had sexually harassed her and her colleagues. But the complaints weren’t properly investigated, according to The Associated Press.
“I appreciate the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations’ swift review of my and Sen. Baldwin’s request,” Evers said today. “The bottom line is that our servicemembers deserve to work in an environment that’s free of sexual assault and harassment and the fear they might face retaliation for reporting sexual assault or harassment when it happens.”
The OCI review will delve into the Wisconsin Guard’s sexual harassment and assault policies and practices, conduct on-site reviews at all major Wisconsin National Guard locations, examine prior allegations of sexual assault and harassment, and provide recommendations moving forward.
Wisconsin Guard spokesman Capt. Joe Trovato today told WisPolitics.com that the Guard “welcomes a thorough and independent review of our sexual assault and harassment program.”
“We look forward to the opportunity to work with the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations to identify areas where we can grow as an organization and will provide them with any information they might request,” he said.
At a media roundtable earlier this month, Wisconsin Guard officials told reporters the organization processed 52 reports of sexual assault from 2013 to 2017.
Of the 52 reported incidents, 20 have fallen under the “unrestricted” category, in which the Guard notifies law enforcement and conducts its own administrative investigation. These investigations have substantiated the accusation in 10 of the reports, but could not collect enough information to substantiate the other 10.
Of the 10 that have been substantiated, Trovato said two have resulted in courts-martial. Trovato said one of those courts-martial has concluded and another is ongoing.
Another 20 cases have been submitted as “restricted” reports, in which the alleged victim chooses to request confidentiality in order to protect privacy but still wishes to seek resources to cope with the incident. In the remaining 12 reports, the Guard did not have jurisdiction over the case.
— Supreme Court candidates Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer both added votes to their election night tallies, according to results the Elections Commission certified today.
It all added up to Hagedorn padding his margin of victory by 21 votes out of more than 1.2 million cast.
The certified count resulted in a 5,981-vote win for Hagedorn over his fellow appeals court judge.
Initial county results compiled by the Associated Press immediately following the election showed Hagedorn had a 5,960 vote lead over Neubauer.
The latest results, posted by the state Elections Commission today, also show the candidates each logged an additional 650 votes apiece. Hagedorn’s vote total increased from 605,728 initially to 606,414, while Neubauer’s rose from 599,768 to 600,433 once the results were certified.
After trailing following the election night count, Neubauer considered requesting a recount. But she conceded after the first wave of county canvasses rolled in showing no significant changes in the margin.
See the certified results:
— The state is in line for an additional $36.5 million in tax collections if a New Berlin man goes ahead with his plan to take the lump-sum payment after winning a $768.4 million jackpot, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
The agency put together an estimate at the request of state Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, who is calling for that additional cash to be used for local road improvement projects.
Manuel Franco, who was introduced yesterday at a Madison news conference as the winner of the Powerball jackpot, said he plans to take the lump sum of $477 million.
LFB wrote in the memo done before Franco stepped forward that if the winner took the annuity option, the tax liability would be different, though the agency didn’t provide details.
Carpenter said he is drafting legislation that would require the money be used for local road aids.
— Revenue Secretary Peter Barca announced today Maria Guerra Lapacek will fill the open assistant deputy secretary’s job starting April 29.
She most recently worked for the city of Chicago as director of the mayor’s Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs.
Her past work also includes serving as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and as a news producer for Telemundo, PBS and WTTW Channel 11.
— David Callender, who was a longtime Capitol reporter before working for the Wisconsin Counties Association and then the Wisconsin Policy Forum, is now the communications director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
He most recently was the communications director for the WPF as the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and Public Policy Forum merged in 2018.
Tomorrow: WisPolitics.com luncheon with JFC co-chairs
Join WisPolitics.com for lunch at The Madison Club, 5 East Wilson St., Madison, on Thursday, April 25, with the veteran Republican co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.
Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, will discuss Gov. Tony Evers’ budget plan and GOP budget priorities.
Check-in and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program going from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
WisPolitics.com subscribers and members as well as Madison Club members and their guests receive discounted pricing for WisPolitics luncheons of $19 per person. Price for general public is $25 per person.
This luncheon is sponsored by: Husch Blackwell, American Family Insurance, Xcel Energy, Walmart, AARP Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
To register, visit: https://eventbrite.com/e/wispolitics-with-alberta-darling-john-nygren-tickets-56595231862
SJR 25: Recognizing September 1 to 7, 2019, as Resiliency Week. Referred to Committee on Senate Organization.
SJR 26: Proclaiming May as Lupus Awareness Month in Wisconsin. Referred to Committee on Senate Organization.
SB 176: The distribution of excess sales tax revenue collected by a local professional baseball park district and making an appropriation. Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions.
SB 177: Mental health clinical consultations under the Medical Assistance program and making an appropriation. Referred to Committee on Health and Human Services.
SB 178: Authorizing a biennial budget procedure for political subdivisions. Referred to Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.
SB 179: Displaying gas taxes on gas pumps. Referred to Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.
SB 180: Care of the graves of veterans and making an appropriation. Referred to Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform. Referred to Committee on labor and Regulatory Reform.
SB 181: Grants for certain University of Wisconsin and technical college graduates who paid nonresident tuition; granting rule-making authority; and making an appropriation. Referred to Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families.
SB 182: School district sparsity aid and making an appropriation. Referred to Committee on Education. Referred to Committee on Education.
SB 183: Requirements for initial licensure as a special education teacher. Referred to Committee on Education.
SB 184: A license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rule-making authority. Referred to Committee on Education.
SB 185: Battery or threat to a probation, extended supervision, and parole agent; a community supervision agent; or an aftercare agent or a family member of the agent and providing a penalty. Referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
Track bills for free:
Journal Sentinel: Tony Evers’ special ed proposal would pump $212 million into schools in southeastern Wisconsin
State Journal: Wisconsin National Guard under federal review for handling of sexual assault
AP: Foxconn says it’s looking for ‘flexibility’ with Wisconsin
Cap Times: Wisconsin DNR secretary: Climate change an environmental justice issue
WPR: Conservation Groups Speak Out Against Rolling Back Wetland, Stream Protections
Journal Sentinel: Ex-Gov. Scott Walker’s aides and allies form new group that just appointed him to honorary post
Politico: Mueller fails to detonate for endangered Republicans
Politico: ‘This is risky’: Trump’s thirst for Mueller revenge could land him in trouble
Reuters: Trump vows to resist Democratic probes; ‘We’re fighting all the subpoenas’
Reuters: House oversight chairman cites ‘massive’ obstruction by Trump, Barr
New York Times: Divided on Impeachment, Democrats Wrestle With Duty and Politics
New York Times: In Push for 2020 Election Security, Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump
Washington Post: Nations targeted by U.S. for high rates of visa overstays account for small number of violators
Washington Post: Trump says he would ask Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats move to impeach him
– 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: WisPolitics.com Luncheon with JFC Co-Chairs Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette.
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