To drum up support for getting rid of Wisconsin’s civil service system, Gov. Scott Walker in September told a story of two state railroad commission workers who weren’t fired for having sex on state time and property. He said the state’s civil service system prevented supervisors from dismissing them, thus demonstrating the need for changes to the system.
But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1PErp6D ) that records show no attempt was made to fire the two workers or discipline them beyond letters of reprimand issued in November 2011. The newspaper obtained the evidence proving that Walker's story was false through the open records law that Republicans hope to kill. The state's GOP leadership already has banned John Doe investigations of politicians and gotten rid of the non-partisan Government Accountability Board, which probes ethics violations.
Depite the proof that the governor’s story was false, his spokeswoman said Friday that the current system forced the state’s Office of State Employment Relations to recommend discipline short of firing.
But state law says specifically that employees can be fired for just cause. OSER officials didn’t immediately respond to an email inquiring about the case.
The state’s civil service system was created more than a century ago to eliminate rampant cronyism and corruption in the hiring of state employees. The Assembly has passed a bill to get rid of restrictions that prevent public officials from giving jobs to their family members, cronies and donors.