Wisconsin Senate votes to OK probe into Government Accountability Board

MADISON -- Wisconsin Senate Republicans have voted to authorize Attorney General Brad Schimel to launch an investigation into the conduct of former workers at the now-dissolved agency that oversaw state elections and ethics laws.

The move Thursday came even as the chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission said that the Republican Schimel can't be trusted to do an "objective and complete investigation."

The Senate organizational committee voted 3-2, with all Republicans in favor and Democrats against, to authorize the investigation into the now-defunct Government Accountability Board. Democrats decried the move, with Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling calling it "an egregious abuse of power."

Elections Commission chairman Mark Thomsen wrote lawmakers earlier Thursday urging them to approve an independent or bipartisan review instead of Schimel. Thomsen is a Democrat.