Former conservative Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman will be paid $44,000 through this fall to oversee an Assembly investigation into the 2020 election, according to a contract obtained by WisPolitics.com.
That’s more than four times what the investigators retained for the probe are scheduled to be paid, according to their contracts.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, announced in late May that he planned to hire three retired police officers to review the 2020 election. He then announced at last weekend’s state GOP convention that he had hired Gableman, who served on the court from 2008-2018, to oversee the investigation.
The contract shows Gableman signed it June 26, the same day his hire was announced at convention.
State Dem spokeswoman Iris Riis ripped the hire, particularly the decision to announce the hire before GOP party activists.
“The only reason for Robin Vos’ sideshow is to sow doubt in our democracy, and taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for a penny of it,” she said.
Vos defended the hire and Gableman’s compensation, noting he will coordinate activities and write the final report. The third retired officer Vos planned to hire has not yet been retained. Between three officers and Gableman, the state is in line to shell out more than $72,000 for the probe.
There’s already a Legislative Audit Bureau review of the 2020 election underway, and an Assembly committee has been taking testimony on last fall as well. Vos said the separate investigation will make sure “every lead is tracked down.”
“I think that for basically the cost of one state employee for a year, it’s pretty cheap to get four people to be able to do that and at the end have hopefully a conclusive result for the public to look at,” Vos said.
Gableman’s four-page contract calls for him to:
*coordinate day-to-day work “relating to potential irregularities and/or illegalities” connected to Wisconsin’s November 2020 election.
*analyze and delegate leads “from whatever source derived,” including those submitted to lawmakers or raised in the media.
*keep a weekly report of investigative findings.
*keep all information and findings confidential except when working with the “Integrity Investigators” and Vos’ designees.
Vos said while the contract calls for Gableman to keep his work confidential, the plan is to share the results with the public once it’s completed.
Gableman’s deal runs July 1 through Oct. 31. It starts one month later than the contracts of retired police officers Steve Page and Michael Sandvick, each of whom is scheduled to make $9,600 under their deals. Their contracts run through Sept. 1.
See the Gableman contract here.
See the investigator contracts: