The State Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), saying she acted improperly in offering a severance package to a former aide.
Marquette Baylor rejected the deal, which reportedly offered an undisclosed amount of money in exchange for keeping quiet about her dismissal. Baldwin’s attorney confirmed this week to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Baylor was let go on January 22. The firing came amid a controversy over the senator’s handling of an inspector general’s report which alleged painkillers were over-prescribed at the Tomah Veterans Affairs medical center.
The GOP filed its complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee in Washington. In it, party director Joe Fadness alleges that Baldwin acted improperly in offering tax dollars to a staffer for not performing government business. He also wrote that the severance package was meant to “silence” Baylor “in order to save Baldwin’s own political career.”
In a statement, Baldwin attorney Marc Elias called the complaint “a frivolous allegation wholly without merit and nothing more than a political stunt. It is unfortunate that the Republican Party has made the choice to play partisan politics with the serious and tragic issues facing the VA and our veterans.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs is still investigating the alleged drug over-prescriptions at Tomah, as well as reports that workers who tried to expose the practice faces retaliation.