At the same press conference where Dane County, Wisc., District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told reporters he found nothing criminal in Gov. Scott Walker’s comments to a prank caller last week, Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney spoke about law enforcement’s role in the push and pull over access to the Capitol building in Madison. Mahoney revealed that yesterday he pulled his officers from a duty to guard the building’s entrances.
According to WisPolitics, Mahoney said that over the last two days, “we have placed those law enforcement officers in the position of being palace guards.”
The deputies had been told that the doors would be open at 8 a.m. yesterday, but that didn’t happen and the officers didn’t find out why until the afternoon, Mahoney said.
“When asked to stand guard at the doors that duty was turned over to the Wisconsin State Patrol because our deputies would not stand and be palace guards,” Mahoney said. “I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards.”
Mahoney also said that it was “crucial” for individuals have access to their lawmakers, and said he’s “never been prouder” of his officers than over the last two weeks.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Dane County judge ordered state officials to re-open the Capitol, where access has been limited since yesterday. In response, Wisconsin’s Department of Administration issued a statement saying that the policies it currently has in place “are in compliance with this order.”
A hearing on the matter was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. local time.
Watch part of Mahoney’s remarks:
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com