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State Ethics Commissioner Quits, Saying Agency Can't Do It's Job


A reserve judge has resigned from Wisconsin's newly-created Ethics Commission, saying it's not equipped to ensure clean government.

Retired Oneida County Circuit Judge Robert Kinney was one of three Democratic members named to the ethics enforcement panel, along with three Republicans. Kinney says the commission's staff is "confronted with overbearing nitpicking at virtually every meeting," and he said it might be the goal that "talented people" quit due to low morale.

In Kinney's resignation letter he said three members voted at an October 10 public meeting to strike the words "furthering Wisconsin's tradition of clean and open government" from the group's mission statement.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Kinney said the panel refused to act on a complaint he thought had merit. While he did not elaborate, Democrats filed a complaint against the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee in October for not submitting a report on its spending and fundraising.

Governor Scott Walker told reporters Monday he'd love to meet with Kinney on why he quit and his concerns about how the Ethics Commission is operating.

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