Judges in Dane and Waukesha counties have formally dismissed court actions over former Justice Michael Gableman’s attempts to compel witnesses to provide depositions at his private office in Brookfield rather than in public before an Assembly committee.

The order came days after the Office of Special Counsel notified the courts that the subpoenas at issue in the litigation had been withdrawn.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Ralph Ramirez on Monday dismissed the case without costs being assessed to any party and canceled a hearing that had been scheduled for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Dane County Judge Rhonda Lanford dismissed the case before her with prejudice and without costs to either party. A hearing had been scheduled in that case Sept. 22 but was canceled by Monday’s order.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, one of those targeted in the Waukesha County case said, “The end of the Gableman reign of error is 10 months late and a million dollars short.”

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, who was also subpoenaed by Gableman, on Twitter wrote the end of the case brings “a sordid chapter in our state’s history to a close.”

“The so-called Gableman Investigation produced nothing of value and wasted a colossal amount of time and money at the state and local levels,” Genrich said. “I welcome its end, and ask all people of good faith to steer clear of similar efforts in the future that seek to spread lies about our elections and undermine our citizens’ faith in democracy.”

Meanwhile, Racine Mayor Cory Mason called the probe a “waste of money,” adding the threat to jail mayors over private depositions was “inappropriate and ridiculous.”

“I’m glad this dark chapter in our democracy is over,” Mason said.

WisPolitics.com reported last week the tab for Gableman’s probe is nearing $1.3 million between the costs of the review and the legal fees from cases that grew out of it. That doesn’t include some $284,000 in attorneys fees and fines in open records suits.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, fired Gableman on Aug. 12, indicating days later that he would likely move to wind down cases in Waukesha and Dane counties over the former justice’s power to compel witnesses to provide private depositions at his Brookfield office rather than in public before an Assembly committee.

Gableman filed the action in Waukesha County, seeking to jail various local officials unless they complied with his subpoenas.

Dem AG Josh Kaul filed the Dane County case, arguing Gableman didn’t have the power to require Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe to provide the private deposition rather than testifying in public.

“This colossal waste of tax dollars to promote the Big Lie never should have started, but I’m glad that this fake investigation is finally getting shut down,” Kaul said. “What we knew before this started remains true today: our elections are free, fair, and secure, and the results of our elections reflect the will of the voters.”

See the order:

See Genrich’s tweet:

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