The office of Taylor County DA Kristi Tlusty told WisPolitics she has declined to file charges of campaign finance violations tied to a 2022 primary challenge of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.

But Tlusty and her office declined to provide the letter sent to the Ethics Commission explaining her reasoning for the decision, instead referring WisPolitics to the commission. 

Pressed by a WisPolitics reporter on why the letter couldn’t be provided, Tlusty’s office said she wasn’t “comfortable” sharing her reasoning. WisPolitics has filed an open records request with Tlusty’s office seeking the letter. 

Waukesha County DA Sue Opper last month declined charges against Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, in the alleged scheme to illegally funnel $40,000 to Adam Steen’s Assembly campaign. Opper said the intercepted communications cited in the case couldn’t be used in a court to prosecute Brandtjen.

Steen, along with the Republican parties in Langlade and Florence counties, have also been referred for charges. 

The heart of the alleged effort was an arrangement between Steen, the three county Republican parties and others to evade campaign finance limits for Assembly candidates. The Ethics Commission alleged Steen and campaign aides told those who wanted to give more than the $1,000 to send the additional contributions to the Langlade County GOP with a “63” in the memo line, a reference to Vos’ district number.

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