Elections panel retains embattled administrator

Elections panel retains embattled administrator

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has voted to retain interim Michael Haas as its interim administrator through April even though the state Senate has refused to confirm him.

The panel voted 4-2 on Wednesday to keep Haas in his position through April 30.

The vote came a day after the Senate voted 18-13 to reject his confirmation. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and other Senate Republicans said they couldn’t trust Haas because he previously worked for the now-disbanded Government Accountability Board, which investigated Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans.

Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen says Haas has done an impeccable job with the Elections Commission and deserves to keep his job.

Commissioner Dean Knudson, who voted against keeping Haas, warned that retaining him even though the Senate rejected him invites legal challenges. He says the commission needs an administrator who isn’t under a “cloud.”