May 9, 2012
Legislators Call for Legislative Investigation into
Walker, DNR Sewergate Corruption Scandal
(Madison, WI) Twelve State Legislators today called for a legislative investigation, along with hearings
open to the public, to explore the potential legal and ethical violations involving Walker’s chief
environmental appointees allowing a political donor to dump human waste near drinking water wells.
“The Attorney General should immediately review this case to fetter out any undue political influence
that seems all but certain to have happened in this case,” said Rep. Louis Molepske (D-Stevens
Point), ranking Democratic member of the Natural Resources Committee. “The legislature’s standing
committees should review the actions by the DNR political appointees who took it upon themselves to
shield a political donor from the full prosecution by the AG’s office that should have happened as the
mainline scientific staff requested. This is not about politics. This is about innocent families whose
private wells may have been significantly contaminated thereby exposing particularly those with
decreased immune functions to E. coli, increased nitrate levels, and other serious health
A recent Wisconsin State Journal story reported that Governor Walker’s chief environmental
appointees put as many as 40 families at risk of drinking water contaminated with human waste to
help a political donor.
“This story shows that Governor Walker’s administration is ignoring our drinking water and
environmental laws by letting polluters and political donors off with a slap on the wrist,” said Rep.
Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) , member of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
Herr Environmental has a history of significant violations of laws designed to protect public health and
the environment. Department of Natural Resources administrators protected them from potential
prosecution by the Department of Justice. Administrators blocked the recommendations of
professional staff to refer the case to the Department of Justice and test the drinking water wells
where human waste was spread at 300% the legal limit.
“One of the many questions we need answered is how extensive the human waste spreading was,
and how many wells were polluted,” said Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson), who represents the
affected area. “This issue has raised a lot of questions and we would like to get some answers for the
people of Wisconsin.”
This follows on the Wisconsin State Journal story showing a more than 50% decline in enforcement
actions over the last year.
“Gov. Walker seems to let polluters and corporate donors do whatever they want and ignore
protecting the drinking water of Wisconsinites. It sure smells like pay to spray to me,” said Senator
Lena C Taylor (D-Milwaukee).
Twelve State Legislators that signed the letter to Sen. Kedzie and Rep. Mursau include Reps. Brett
Hulsey, Louis Molepske, Mark Pocan, Fred Clark, Tamara Grigsby, Kelda Roys, Gordon Hintz, Penny
Bernard Schaber, Frederick Kessler, Terese Berceau and Senators Lena Taylor and Chris Larson.