By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — The political games continue at Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Natural Resources and Attorney General Josh Kaul’s highly partisan Department of Justice.
Department of Natural Resources Board Chairman Dr. Frederick Prehn has been forced to push back a board meeting to next Monday because the DNR and attorney general’s legal staff “refused to accommodate such a meeting.”
As Empower Wisconsin first reported last week, the DNR board sought to call a special meeting for Friday morning to vote on booting Kaul’s conflicted Department of Justice from representing the board in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups looking to shut down Wisconsin’s annual wolf hunt.
Kaul has said he will appeal his failed lawsuit attempting to remove Prehn from a conservative-led DNR board that has infuriated Gov. Tony Evers and environmentalists even as the attorney general’s assistants claim to represent the board in the wolf hunt lawsuits.
DNR Board Vice Chairman Gregory Kazmierski told Empower Wisconsin last week the defiant DNR improperly noticed a special session meeting, failing to note the board would take action, thus delaying a vote on a motion seeking to ask a judge to appoint outside counsel. It was no innocent mistake, the vice chairman said. The majority conservatives sought to move ahead, prepared to post a corrected public notice and hold the meeting yet Friday afternoon. They were then told by the department that none of its bureaucrats would attend, and neither would the DNR board liaison.
Prehn then put together a press release explaining the situation, but it appears the department failed to send the release out to members of the press.
There has been little mainstream press coverage about the board’s majority seeking outside counsel or the conduct of the Democrat-led administration and the DOJ.
Here is the full press release from Prehn, written for distribution on Friday, Oct. 8:
The NRB met in closed session this morning to confer with our counsel regarding the pending lawsuits for Wolf hunt fall 2021. These law suits name the DNR and the NRB as defendants.
Dept of justice is defending the DNR and the NRB in these lawsuits. It was determined that the posting did not allow the board to take action after our discussions.
Accordingly the board desire was to hold an emergency special session meeting later in the day after appropriate notification to the public.
The DNR administration and legal staff refused to accommodate such a meeting for us to discuss and vote on whether the NRB should request legal representation by special counsel, rather than the department of justice to defend us in these pending lawsuits.
I have reset the meeting for October 18 to discuss this issue and it is expected that Accommodations will be made for this board to discuss and act on these law suits.