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Gableman wants to jail mayors again in elections probe

Wooden judges gavel on wooden table.
Africa Studio
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Wooden judges gavel on wooden table.

The former state Supreme Court justice leading a review of Wisconsin's 2020 elections is changing course, saying he now wants to jail Madison and Green Bay's mayors and other officials if they don't comply with his subpoenas.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Michael Gableman last summer to investigate the elections. Gableman issued subpoenas in October seeking election records from Wisconsin's five largest cities and demanding their mayors submit to questioning, even though mayors don't have a role in election administration.

In December he filed petitions in Waukesha County asking the sheriff there to force Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich to submit to depositions and throw them in jail if they refused. Gableman softened his stance in January, saying through his attorney that his intent was to force them to testify, not jail them.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Gableman filed a new petition in Waukesha County on Friday renewing his demand that the two mayors be jailed if they won't answer his questions. The petition also demands Racine Mayor Cory Mason, the Madison and Green Bay city clerks, Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairwoman Ann Jacobs, city of Milwaukee employees Hannah Bubacz and David Henke, state Division of Enterprise Technology Director Trina Zanow submit to questions and turn over records or be jailed.

Rhodes-Conway said Friday that Gableman's investigation “has once again gone off the rails.”

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