Milwaukee agrees to comply with 'broad' document order for state presidential election investigation

NOW: Milwaukee agrees to comply with ’broad’ document order for state presidential election investigation

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer said Thursday, Oct. 7, Milwaukee will comply with the subpoena issued by Wisconsin Election Special Council Michael Gableman to investigate the 2020 presidential election.

Spencer said the scope of the order is very broad. City staff said under the broadest interpretation, they would be required to hand over hundreds of thousands of documents and every ballot cast in Milwaukee.

"The City Attorney's Office has reached out to the special council for clarification in hopes to clarify certain of these requests," Spencer said.

The mayors of Madison, Kenosha, Racine and Green Bay also received subpoenas this week.

The investigation, ordered by Republican lawmakers, will cost the state nearly $700,000. That includes paying Gableman about $11,000 per month, but Spencer is not sure how much it will cost Milwaukee to comply with the request.

"I will communicate with the city attorneys from the other cities that have also been served, in hopes of saving the taxpayers money and in order to coordinate an effective and efficient response."

Spencer said he is looking into hiring outside council from an elections law specialist.

"It's always good to have an extra set of eyes with extensive experience in that area," Spencer said.

The City Attorney's Office has been losing staff, some citing a "toxic work environment," but the Milwaukee Election Commission said they have nothing to hide, and they're confident in the office.

"We have extremely confident attorneys who have been with the elections team for many years," Milwaukee Election Commission Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said.

Spencer would not say today whether Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would testify when documents are due Oct. 22.

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