Is Gableman Admitting Improper Conduct?
Questions raised by One Wisconsin Now that as an Administrative Law Judge Mike Gableman failed to take leave while traveling over 500 miles back and forth across the state for a fundraiser for former Governor Scott McCallum appear to have been confirmed Wednesday afternoon by a Gableman campaign press release. His campaign seems to be admitting that he was on the state taxpayers’ time when he crisscrossed Wisconsin for a fundraiser he hosted for Scott McCallum.
The details of the June 12, 2002 Cable fundraiser and Gableman’s attendance surfaced during an investigation by One Wisconsin Now which questioned the circumstances surrounding Gableman’s appointment by McCallum to the Burnett County Circuit Court. Gableman received the judgeship after hosting the fundraiser, introducing and sitting with McCallum and following donations of $2,500 by Gableman. [Northwoods Regional Governor’s Club Event Memo, 6/12/02]
In a statement that appears to admit improper conduct, Gableman’s campaign said:
“Judge Gableman secured permission from his supervisor to attend an event on behalf of the governor and was back at work the next day.”
What kind of legal mind thinks it would be acceptable under state ethics laws to get paid by the state to drive to a fundraiser? And how does a supervisor grant a state employee paid time off to do campaign activities? Gableman’s actions occurred in the midst of the highly-publicized revelations about the Capitol caucus scandal. He should have known better at that time, and he should be required to fully explain his actions now.