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Judge awards $163,000 in fees — to be paid by Wisconsin taxpayers — in $1 million-plus, taxpayer-funded GOP election probe

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FILE - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (left) meeting with former President Donald Trump on a private plane headed to an Alabama rally on Aug. 22, 2021. (PHOTO: @RepVos on Facebook)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge Monday awarded about $163,000 in fees to attorneys for the liberal watchdog group American Oversight in an open records lawsuit it brought against the investigator hired by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to investigate the 2020 election.

The fees will be paid by Wisconsin taxpayers and adds to the total cost of the investigation that is now over $1 million, all paid by taxpayers.

Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington’s order was the second against Vos and the investigator he hired, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, in a week. Another judge last week awarded just over $98,000 to American Oversight in another open records case.

There are four open records cases against Vos and Gableman related to the investigation into President Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in 2020. Remington on Aug. 16 was to determine whether to vacate a contempt order he issued against Gableman for failing to comply with the open records law.

Gableman has appealed the contempt order against him. Vos’s attorney Ron Stadler said he expected to appeal the other ruling from Dane County Circuit Judge Bailey-Rihn.

Gableman testified that he routinely deleted records that he thought were not a part of the investigation. A lawsuit on that issue is pending.

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