Wisconsin Examiner

AG Calls Racine Sheriff Charges ‘Publicity Stunt’

AG Kaul refused a statewide investigation, called charges "disgraceful."

By , Wisconsin Examiner - Nov 5th, 2021 01:13 pm
Josh Kaul. File photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Josh Kaul. File photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul forcefully criticized the decision of Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling to recommend charges against five of six members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Kaul, who has refused Schmaling’s request to open a statewide investigation into voting in nursing homes during the 2020 election, said the decision to recommend felony and misdemeanor charges against the commissioners was clearly a political effort.

“This disgraceful publicity stunt shows an appalling lack of judgment,” Kaul said. “This is a transparently political effort and an abuse of authority.”

In a news release on Wednesday, Schmaling said he’d recommended multiple charges of misconduct in public office and election fraud against every commissioner except Republican Robert Spindell to Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson, also a Republican.

Republican officials and lawmakers have used Schmaling’s allegations as another way to undermine the results of the 2020 election, which was held safely and securely, according to experts. Multiple reviews, recounts, investigations and court decisions have affirmed the election was won by Joe Biden.

Elections officials have insisted that no laws were broken. Schmaling is alleging that when commissioners voted, unanimously, in the spring of 2020 not to send people into nursing homes to assist residents with voting they violated the law and contributed to nursing home staff coercing residents into voting.

Commissioners and elections commission staff contend that if they hadn’t made that decision, nursing home residents — who were unable to receive  visitors because of COVID-19 precautions — would have been disenfranchised.

“Well, first of all, they didn’t break the law,” Kevin Kennedy, former chief state elections official, told WISN on Thursday. “They were told you were not going to get access and the law is very clear, then you mail the ballots if you can’t deliver them, and that’s what happened.”

Kaul was not the only Democrat to criticize Schmaling’s decision to recommend charges.

“The Racine Sheriff IS the election fraud,” Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) tweeted on Wednesday. “People who are throwing around false accusations to cast doubt on our democracy should be called out for it, not given a platform to spread it.”

Hanson has so far not made a decision on whether or not the commissioners will actually be charged with a crime.

Kaul denounces Racine Sheriff’s charges as ‘publicity stunt’ was originally published by the Wisconsin Examiner.

One thought on “AG Calls Racine Sheriff Charges ‘Publicity Stunt’”

  1. gerrybroderick says:

    Sheriff Christopher Schmaling’s overtly political judgement may be aimed at Trump giving him consideration as his next Director of the FBI. With such slanted assessments he just might meet the Trump standard.

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