Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Lautenschlager to pay $600 for use of state car

Despite a pending announcement from the state Ethics Board on

its findings concerning Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager’s

use of a state-owned vehicle, Lautenschlager said Friday she will


pay the state $600 for trips from Madison to her home in Fond du

Lac using the car.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the

state’s AG indicated she was reimbursing 1,900 miles used on

the car out of 20,000 miles driven since January 2003, when she

took office. Lautenschlager indicated the $600 amount was the

penalty the Board was seeking, although the state committee has not

publicly revealed its decision on the matter.

Lautenschlager has been criticized for

allegedly using a state vehicle for reasons other than state


“[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.

After her arrest for drunk driving Feb. 23,

Lautenschlager came under fire for using a state car while

intoxicated. She has since paid $3,250, or 10 days’ worth in

salary, to the state as a self-imposed penalty for using the car

while drunk. In addition, the Attorney General paid $784 to Dodge

County after pleading guilty to charges of driving while

intoxicated and has also agreed to spend the approximate $800

required for towing and car repairs.

Since her arrest, Lautenschlager has refused

to speak openly about the incident except for publicly apologizing

in a press conference where she declined any questions. Beginning

Friday, however, Lautenschlager began a number of interviews

concerning the DWI incident.

Lautenschlager told members of the press she

had only two glasses of wine the night of her arrest, despite a

breathalyzer test revealing her blood alcohol content was .12

percent, well above the .08 legal limit. She has declined to

publicly state the results of a court ordered alcohol assessment,

but has said she does not suffer from


Kari Kinnard, executive director of MADD

Wisconsin, said although she understands Lautenschlager’s

need for privacy, she believes there are many unresolved questions

concerning how much the AG drank before driving.

“It is her right to privacy,” Kinnard

said. “However, there are still questions surrounding how many

drinks she had. Two glasses of wine doesn’t even get you to


Kinnard also said Lautenschlager’s

attempts to deal with the DWI arrest publicly have been


“It’s been disappointing,” she

said. “We feel there has not been the accountability and

responsibility we would like to see with this situation. It

doesn’t seem as though she has been forthcoming in the whole


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