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Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman on Friday once again asked a circuit court judge to jail Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway — but this time, he’s seeking to jail nine other officials across the state.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman on Friday once again asked a circuit court judge to jail Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway — but this time, he’s seeking to jail nine other officials across the state.

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, Madison and Green Bay City Clerks Maribeth Witzel-Behl and Celsetine Jeffreys, Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairwoman Ann Jacobs, Racine Mayor Cory Mason, WEC staffer Sara Linski, state Department of Enterprise Technology Director Trina Zanow, and city of Milwaukee employees David Henke and Hannah Bubacz are included in Gableman's court filing — which was filed in Waukesha County on Friday afternoon. 

The move from the conservative former judge is the latest in his months-long review of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters on Tuesday that Gableman’s review would be over by the end of February.

After previously seeking to arrest Rhodes-Conway and Genrich for refusing to answer his questions in his private offices in Brookfield, Gableman's attorney said in court last month that Gableman was no longer seeking to jail the two mayors.

Now, Gableman is asking the 10 officials to attend the “investigatory interviews or depositions” he requested in previous subpoenas or be incarcerated if they refuse to comply. 

“The Vos/Gableman ‘investigation’ has once again gone off the rails. After saying he wanted to arrest me, then saying he didn't, Gableman once again is asking the courts to arrest me and eight other public officials,” Rhodes-Conway said in a statement to the Cap Times. “It's an awfully bold move for someone we don't even know is authorized to conduct an investigation.”

Both mayors have said they have abided by his requests and have asked the court to throw out the lawsuit. Rhodes-Conway has said on numerous occasions she will testify in public before the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, which issued the subpoena to discuss the administration of the election in Madison — but not in secret at Gableman’s Brookfield office.

Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls — chair of the Assembly committee purportedly overseeing the review — told the Cap Times on Tuesday she did not know when the probe would end.

The Friday filing states that Linske and Zanow failed to appear and testify as scheduled on Feb. 14; that Henke and Bubacz failed to appear and testify on Feb. 16; and that Jacobs failed to appear and testify on Feb. 18. 

Gableman’s review has been wide-ranging, and Vos said this week he’s signed more than 100 subpoenas as part of the probe. Gableman’s contract with the Assembly expired at the end of 2021. Vos said Tuesday his office is working on a new contract with the former justice, but did not say when that contract would be signed.

Since no formal contract extension has been signed, opponents to the review have raised questions about whether Gableman is allowed to enforce subpoenas.

Wisconsin taxpayers are spending about $40,000 per month to pay the wages of those working on the probe, which has been described as “bizarre” and “amateurish” by bipartisan election administration experts. That does not include other expenses, like office space and mileage reimbursement.

Gableman makes $11,000 per month for his work on the probe, he told an Assembly committee last fall.

It took months for the conservative former justice to release the names of those working on the review — and one such person, a “data expert,” remains anonymous. 

At least one person directly involved in attempting to overturn the results of Wisconsin’s presidential election — which multiple recounts, lawsuits and a nonpartisan audit showed President Joe Biden won — also works for Gableman. That’s Ron Heuer, president of the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, who joined Gableman’s team on Oct. 1 and is earning $3,250 per month in taxpayer money. 

The Wisconsin Voters Alliance was one of several groups that filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 presidential election. The lawsuit asked the state’s high court to render the results of the state’s election “null,” block the Wisconsin Elections Commission from certifying the results of the election and issue an order requiring Gov. Tony Evers to certify electors appointed by the Legislature.

Gableman’s review has at times appeared to have two primary focuses: How grant money from the Center for Tech and Civic Life was used by five Wisconsin cities and how guidance from WEC affected voting at nursing homes during the pandemic, according to testimony Gableman gave to the Assembly committee overseeing the review.

However, the focus of the probe has shifted as it has dragged on. It has been weeks since Gableman provided a public update about his work.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez has scheduled a hearing for April on how to proceed with Gableman’s lawsuit.

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