The Government Accountability Board today released the results of an independent investigation, finding probable cause that Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus did violate state law in not correctly reporting election results last April. However the probe, by former Dane County prosecutor Timothy Verhoff, also concluded the violation was not willful and therefore did not constitute criminal misconduct.

Nickolaus was accused of attempting to sway the results in favor of Justice David Prosser by failing to post-election night results from the City of Brookfield.

Although Nickolaus could not give a definitive explanation on the misreporting, the findings say it’s likely she uploaded a blank template into a reporting database rather than a template that included the city’s actual vote totals. The investigation also looked into alleged tampering of ballot bags and security seals but found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

The activity in Waukesha County, a Republican stronghold, is a reason Supreme Court challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg insisted on a statewide recount. The recount confirmed Prosser was indeed the winner.

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