Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the state elections board does not have to turn over its investigative records to auditors.
Van Hollen said in a Thursday legal opinion that the Government Accountability Board does not have to provide investigative records to the Legislative Audit Bureau. He says state law does not specifically authorize the board to do that.
The audit bureau is currently conducting a review of the board which oversees elections and ethics complaints in Wisconsin.
Republicans have been critical of the board, particularly its involvement in an investigation into alleged campaign violations by conservative groups and Gov. Scott Walker's recall campaign.
Republican state Sen. Mary Lazich says the opinion raises "major concerns" about the board's accountability, but she is withholding judgment until the audit is released.