The Wisconsin Ethics Board convened Wednesday morning to determine the course of action that should be taken on Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager’s use of a state vehicle. As of yet, the board did not publicly release any information on its decision.
Lautenschlager has said she would pay for use of the vehicle if the board decided she had broken state rules. However, she has stated she will not speak with members of the press concerning her DWI arrest until the ruling is made public.
After being arrested for drunken driving while she was using a state-owned car, Lautenschlager has come under fire for allegedly using the state vehicle for personal or political purposes.
“[I]t appears the attorney general’s use of this vehicle may rise to the level of felony misconduct in office,” read a letter from Darrin Schmitz, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, to the State Ethics Board.
Schmitz questioned whether Lautenschlager fully repaid mileage used and if she used the car for reasons unrelated to state business.
The attorney general, who was chair of Howard Dean’s Wisconsin campaign, made numerous appearances around the state during the primary in order to campaign.
Friday, Lautenschlager paid 10 days worth of salary to the Department of Justice, a sum total of $3,250, for using a state car while intoxicated. The fee was self-imposed and based on prior penalties for drunk-driving incidents at the Justice Department.
Lautenschlager was arrested Feb. 23 for driving while intoxicated after she ran her car into a ditch while traveling from Madison to her home in Fond du Lac. When officials arrived at the site of the accident, the Attorney General admitted to having had some drinks with friends but refused to take a blood test.
Lautenschlager entered a guilty plea for her drunken driving charge and also did not dispute a Dodge County police officer’s report of her refusing the blood test.