Wis. Capitol damage claim
March 31, 2011
MADISON - A newspaper investigation has found that the controversial claim that protesters had done more than $7 million in damage to the state Capitol was based on a single handwritten page. A Milwaukee newspaper filed an open records request for the basis of the March 3 courtroom testimony by an Administration Department official that cleanup and restoration costs could hit $7.5 million.
That request turned up only one page of notebook paper listing estimated costs. Other emails from state officials included areas to check for damage, but those didn't include dollar figures.
The testimony came as unions and Gov. Scott Walker's administration battled in court over access to the statehouse for thousands of demonstrators opposed to the governor's union bargaining bill.
Walker administration officials have since backpedaled from the damage estimate.