Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette is going to court to keep his office from being moved inside the state Capitol building.
La Follette on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Dane Count Court, seeking to block provisions included in the state budget that cut the size of his staff and would see him relocated from an office across the street from the Capitol to the basement of the state’s seat of government.
AUDIO: Secretary of State Doug La Follette (:32)
La Follette claims the changes in law are unconstitutional, because they will restrict public access to his office and the records he keeps. “It’s not legal for them to do what they’ve done because I have, as Secretary of State, certain duties and responsibilities…and I cannot fulfill those duties with what they’ve done to the office,” he said.
The state budget reduced the Secretary’s staff from three employees to just one. It also requires a move from a 4,000 square foot office into a 900 square foot space in the Capitol.
La Follette said his staff has already been reduced and he’s been told the move could come in the next “week and a half.” As a result, he’s also asking for an injunction to prevent further implementation of the budget cuts until his lawsuit is settled. He argued that, once he moves, “it’s going to be almost impossible to reverse.”
A spokeswoman with the state Department of Justice said “We are reviewing the complaint and the Attorney General will be defending Governor Walker and (Department of Administration) Secretary Neitzel in this case.”