The former Republican leader in the state Assembly has decided not to take a job with the Public Service Commission. Scott Suder sent a letter to the PSC Thursday, declining his position as the agency’s new water division administrator. Instead, the Wisconsin Paper Council announced Suder will take a job as the group’s vice president of government relations.

Suder resigned from the Legislature in August to take the $94,000 a year job at the PSC. An agency spokesman says his first day on the job was scheduled to be October 7th.

Several Democrats and interest groups have been calling on Governor Walker to rescind the job offer in the recent weeks, due to the Abbottsford Republicans’ involvement with a controversial grant given to a politically connected group. Suder played a key role in inserting language into the state budget that created a $500,000 sporting heritage grant that ended up going to United Sportsmen of Wisconsin…a group Suder had close ties with and the only applicant that met narrow qualifications. Governor Scott Walker later rescinded the grant, amidst the ongoing controversy.

Meanwhile, state Representative Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) said Thursday that he will take the job Suder turned down. Stone announced he plans to retired from the Assembly after 15 years in the chamber. The Greendale Republican, a vocal supporter of enacting a voter ID law in Wisconsin, said he hopes “that the legislature continues to carry the torch and ensure that Wisconsin elections are safe and held with the upmost integrity.”

Stone’s resignation from the Assembly will be effective on October 14. The governor will have to call a special election to fill his seat.

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