DOJ spent $1,000 to send attorney to ADF conference

MADISON — Wisconsin taxpayers paid about $1,000 to send one of Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel's top lawyers to a Christian legal advocacy group's West Coast conference last summer.

Schimel had taxpayers foot the bill even though he considered his own appearance at the California gathering a political or personal event and didn't charge taxpayers.

DOJ spokeswoman Rebecca Ballweg says Deputy Solicitor General Kevin LeRoy attended the meeting as a lawyer to learn more about religious liberty issues. Ballweg says it's not unusual for the department to pay expenses for attorneys attending legal conferences.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified ADF as an extremist organization that supports criminalizing homosexuality. The ADF refutes that.

DOJ Solicitor General Misha Tseytlin (MEE-shaa TEST-in) also attended. Ballweg says ADF paid for a portion of his expenses and Tseytlin covered the rest himself.