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GOP lawmaker wants changes after AG’s grant-hired environmental prosecutor

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(The Center Square) – At least one Republican lawmaker wants changes after a new report exposed Wisconsin’s attorney general hired an environmental prosecutor thanks to a grant from Michael Bloomberg’s environmental non-profit.

Rep. Jerry O’Connor, R-Fond du Lac, accused Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul of “selling the Department of Justice to the highest bidder.”

“New York billionaire and former Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg funds the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, a New York climate activist organization ‘defending, enforcing, and promoting strong laws and policies in the area of climate, environmental justice, environmental protection, and clean energy,’” O’Connor said in a statement. “AG Kaul has turned his back on the people of Wisconsin to cater to the radical climate agenda of out-of-state billionaires and Democratic activists.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke the story that Kaul hired special assistant attorney general Karen Heineman with a grant from the SEEIC. She’s being paid $90,000 annually to handle environmental cases.

O’Connor said Kaul needs to answer why he’s using the grant to hire a new prosecutor, and whether the non-profit is driving the prosecutorial agenda here in Wisconsin.

“It is the solemn duty of the attorney general to represent and serve the people of Wisconsin, not the bidding and agenda of out-of-state billionaire activists who purchased offices in the DOJ,” O’Connor added. “The DOJ and all other departments and agencies belong to the people of Wisconsin, not out-of-state activists and Democratic mega-donors.”

A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office denied any worries about outside influence.

“Wisconsin DOJ makes decisions about what matters to address based on its independent judgment of what is in the best interests of Wisconsinites,” spokeswoman Gillian Drummond told the Journal Sentinel.

The agreement between the AG’s office and Bloomberg’s non-profit is drawing comparisons to the Zuckerbucks scandal that saw Mark Zuckerberg’s non-profit use election grants to fund local election offices in 2020.

“I urgently call upon AG Kaul to reverse his decision and renounce the use of private money to directly fund public offices. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is not for sale, and immediate action is needed to protect its integrity,” O’Connor said.

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