State News

State Superintendent Evers fires AG Schimel from representing him in lawsuit

State superintendent and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers says he doesn’t want state Attorney General Brad Schimel representing him in a lawsuit.

Image By: Katie Scheidt

State Superintendent Tony Evers “fired” Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel from representing Evers in a lawsuit issued against him last week, stating that Schimel has a conflict of interest in the case.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the suit after Evers superseded recent legislation that requires heads of state agencies receive approval from the governor’s Department of Administration before passing agency rules in their respective departments.

Evers, who heads the state Department of Public Instruction, claims that the previous legislation does not apply since the DPI is supposed to be independent of federal executive departments.

A similar case against Evers appeared in the state Supreme Court last year, with a ruling of 4-3 in favor of Evers. Now, the case resurges in the midst of a more conservative Court and Evers’s Democratic gubernatorial candidacy.

In response to the suit, Gov. Scott Walker appointed Schimel to represent Evers, although the state DOJ expressed support for the lawsuit filed against Evers.

“It doesn’t take a lawyer to know that Governor Walker is trying to rig the lawsuit against Tony Evers to make sure Evers losses,” said state Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire, who is also in running for the 2018 gubernatorial elections.

Although Evers claims to have “fired” the state Department of Justice, Schimel says he will not abstain from his position.

State DOJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos assured Schimel’s personal interests will not sully his professional conduct in handling Evers’s case.

“It is not unusual for a client agency to disagree with the position of DOJ and this case is no different,” Koremenos said last week.

Meanwhile, the Madison attorneys who attended to Evers’s case last year, Lester Pines and Susan Crawford, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they may intervene if Schimel remains Evers's representative and, should that effort fail, file a suit of their own.  

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