Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager paid $672 for trips made with a state car from Madison to her home in Fond du Lac plus a $250 penalty in a settlement reached with the Wisconsin Ethics Board Monday.
In the settlement, the state’s attorney general admitted to violating a state statute mandating Wisconsin officials using a state car reimburse costs for commuting from work to home.
The State Ethics Board released its findings on Lautenschlager’s alleged illegal use of a state-owned vehicle. Although the board investigated accusations that Lautenschlager identified her house in Fond du Lac as her official headquarters, the ethics board ruled they found nothing to substantiate those claims.
“We are satisfied that the attorney general was careful to restrict her use of a state-owned automobile to appropriate and permitted uses,” the board said in its report. “The attorney general, from the outset, pledged to reimburse the state of Wisconsin for any amount due. There was no corrupt motive or intention to obtain a dishonest advantage.”
Although Lautenschlager was found to have “no intention to obtain an unlawful benefit,” the board did ask that she reimburse the state for 1,900 miles used for reasons unrelated to state business.
The $250 penalty for the violation will be put in Wisconsin’s school fund.
Lautenschlager was arrested for drunk driving Feb. 23, after running a state-owned car off the road as she traveled from Madison to her home in Fond du Lac. The attorney general pled guilty to the DWI charges and did not dispute Dodge County police reports that she refused a blood test. She paid a self-imposed penalty of $3,250 for using a state vehicle while intoxicated, forgoing ten days of paid salary.