Governor Tony Evers (WRN image)

UPDATED June 29.

PolitiFact found that WRN’s claim (boldfaced below) that Governor Evers said he would not fire the staffer inaccurate, based on a review of the call. You can read the findings here. We apologize for the inaccuracy. 

The blow back continued Thursday, over a secretly recorded call between Governor Tony Evers, Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. Evers did not know the May 14 call was being recorded, which prompted this reaction from Fitzgerald on WISN’s “Jay Weber Show” Thursday morning.

“Then they’ve got a different issue, which is, some other staffer in the governor’s office is secretly recording conversations between the legislative leaders and the governor of the state.”

Later on Thursday, Evers was asked how he could not know. “How did I not not know? ‘Cause I didn’t know. We were on the phone. I was in a different place than other people were. So, I didn’t know.”

While the recording didn’t break the law, Fitzgerald said it was a breach of trust. “I’m making an assumption that it was done on somebody’s phone. If they don’t find out who that is, and terminate that individual, I don’t see how anybody in the room could ever build any trust to have an open and frank discussion about any public policy topic.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (WRN image)

Evers said he will not fire the staffer who recorded the call, which came to light in an open records request by the Journal Sentinel. “A staffer wanted help taking notes, and that’s why that staffer did that. I will not discuss personnel issues in public, but needless to say that practice has ended with this one time.”

In addition to Fitzgerald and Speaker Robin Vos, at least one Democrat, Representative Jonathan Brostoff of Milwaukee, also said the unnamed staffer should be fired.

Also on Thursday, an activist group called for an apology from Vos, for a comment he made during the recorded conference call, which was a discussion about how the state should proceed in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against Evers’ “Safer at Home” order.

Forward Latino said Vos was racially insensitive. Vos is heard on the recording blaming immigrant culture for a spike of COVID-19 cases in Racine County.

he group did not take the step of calling for Vos’ resignation. However Representative Brostoff did, in addition to calling for the dismissal of whoever in Governor Evers’ office made that recording.

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