Former Justice Michael Gableman has billed taxpayers more than $62,000 in salaries and office rent for his review of the 2020 election, according to the invoices he’s submitted to the Assembly.
But the invoices, obtained through an open records request, don’t detail who’s getting paid for their work on Gableman’s probe.
Officials in the five cities targeted in the probe have detailed interacting with three people besides Gableman: Andrew Kloster, an attorney who served in the Trump administration; Zakory Niemierowicz; and a woman who signs her emails Carol M.
The invoices detailing $59,750 in salaries list no names. The one for September salaries listed distributions numbered one through four in amounts ranging from $3,250 to $5,000. The invoice for October lists distributions numbered one through five with payments in the same range.
The distributions numbered one through four are for the same amounts. If aides are being paid monthly, that suggests there were four on the payroll besides Gableman in September and five last month.
Separate invoices for Gableman’s pay list payments of $11,000 each in September and October, matching the salary laid out in the contract he signed with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.
The Assembly chief clerk’s office released the invoices just after 5 p.m. yesterday following requests from WisPolitics.com, which had asked for them verbally and in writing since September. A Vos spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment. Gableman’s office also didn’t immediately return a message left after hours.
Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, slammed the probe.
“Well, now we know Speaker Vos has flushed $62,000 taxpayer dollars down the drain chasing lies and conspiracy theories. But we still have no idea who ‘Carol M.’ is,” Hintz said. “Nothing about this effort by Speaker Vos and Gableman has been by the book, and seeing invoices for unnamed staff being paid weeks after the fact only reinforces their lack of credibility.”
Gableman originally signed a contract with Vos in June that paid him $11,000 a month for his work starting July 1.
They then signed an amended deal that gave Gableman a $676,000 budget for the probe through the end of December.
The budget included $125,000 for five investigators, $16,000 for an administrative assistant and $15,000 for communications. The bulk of the budget — $325,000 — was earmarked for a data analysis contractor.
The invoices WisPolitics.com obtained also included one listing payments of $2,567 for rent between July and October. Gableman’s operation has been working out of a private office in a Brookfield strip mall. The documents show the monthly rate is $704.
See the invoices: