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Wisconsin Weekly is a roundup of the week’s top stories from around the state by Wisconsin Watch and trusted news outlets. Access to some stories may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing, and sign up to get our free newsletters here

Of note: This week we highlight two Wisconsin Watch stories. The first, reported by Wisconsin Watch’s Phoebe Petrovic and Maya Hilty of the Sheboygan Press, reveals a sexual harassment scandal in the Sheboygan Police Department involving male and female officers who took and shared nude and semi-nude photos of  co-workers without their knowledge or consent — behavior that may violate state law. The second story, reported by Wisconsin Watch Statehouse Bureau Chief Matthew DeFour, delves into the long-simmering feud between the state department that licenses occupations and Republicans who run the Legislature. While license applicants face lengthy waits for approval, lawmakers for years have withheld funding that Department of Safety and Professional Services officials say they need to adequately staff the agency.

Sheboygan Police Chief Christopher Domagalski stands at the podium at Sheboygan City Hall, on Jan. 9, 2022, in Sheboygan, Wis. Domagalski was responsible for determining the discipline his officers received, sometimes reducing the punishment recommended by his captain. (Gary C. Klein / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Widespread sexual harassment draws discipline, resignations in Wisconsin police department

Wisconsin Watch — February 6, 2023

In the spring and summer of 2021, the results of three, months-long internal investigations came to Sheboygan Police Chief Christopher Domagalski’s desk. Supervisors found that, amidst a raft of sexual misconduct by both men and women in the department, four male officers had sexually harassed female colleagues. 

Portrait of Sara Wuorinen standing near a colorful wall in Ashland, Wisconsin.
Sara Wuorinen first contacted the state Department of Safety and Professional Services in September 2021 to become a licensed substance abuse counselor. (Derek Montgomery for Wisconsin Watch)

After rejecting staffing requests, Wisconsin Republicans approve DSPS audit 

Wisconsin Watch — February 7, 2023

The state Department of Safety and Professional Services amassed a $47 million surplus — and agency call center service plummeted — while the Legislature rebuffed Gov. Tony Evers’ asks for more help. Now, Republicans have ordered an audit of the agency as licensees complain long waits have taken a toll on their careers — and lives.

Chairs remain empty before a hearing begins on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2023, at the Dodge County courthouse in Juneau, Wis. (Angela Major / WPR)

From ‘serious’ to ‘dire:’ DAs offices across Wisconsin and the country are struggling to hire prosecutors

WPR — February 8, 2023

Kurt Klomberg had been Dodge County’s top prosecutor for more than a decade, a job he describes as a calling. But this winter Klomberg was facing a crisis. The number of assistant district attorneys staffing the office was set to shrink from four to zero, because of planned retirements, a resignation and an extended leave.

Latest on Lac du Flambeau land dispute and road closures: State lawmakers call on Gov. Evers to step in as some non-Native landowners organize

Green Bay Press-Gazette — February 6, 2023

Two state lawmakers are calling for a peaceful resolution at the Lac du Flambeau reservation in northern Wisconsin, where tribal officials have blocked roads during a land dispute with private property owners.

Liltanya Carter votes at the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 3, 2020. An audio recording of a strategy meeting obtained Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, by The Associated Press shows, that the leaders of then-President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in battleground Wisconsin conceded privately the day after the 2020 election that he had lost, praising Democratic turnout efforts and focusing instead on spreading the lie that Democrats had stolen the election. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch)

Trump campaign staff on 2020 election lies: ‘Fan the flame’

Associated Press — February 6, 2023

A newly released audio recording offers a behind-the-scenes look at how former President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin campaign team had been outflanked by Democrats in the 2020 presidential election. But even as they acknowledged defeat, they pivoted to allegations of widespread fraud that were ultimately debunked.

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing. 

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