The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel advances the Department of Natural Resources waste-hauling
story scandal first reported by the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday by letting former DNR secretaries rip the agency's laissez-faire regulatory practices during its sixteen months under Scott Walker's "chamber-of-commerce" (his words) administration:
In newsroom parlance, here's the lede:
Two former state Department of Natural Resources secretaries on Wednesday criticized the agency's leadership, calling top officials' handling of environmental cases "unprecedented," "outrageous" and "indefensible."But sharp readers know you always have to read to the end of stories, and in this case, reporter Lee Bergquist serves up a wonderful "kicker" to close out a story about reduced enforcement by Walker's small-government/corporate crowd:
Former Gov. Anthony Earl, who was secretary from 1975 to 1980, and Scott Hassett, who was secretary from 2003 to 2006, condemned the DNR's handling of an enforcement case against an Oconomowoc waste hauler.
The former secretaries, both Democrats, also questioned the drop in environmental enforcement cases since 2011, after Republican Gov. Scott Walker appointed businesswoman and former lawmaker Cathy Stepp as secretary, builders association executive Matt Moroney as deputy secretary, and former Republican Rep. Scott Gunderson of Waterford as executive assistant.
In an interview, [Deputy DNR Secretary and former Builders' official Matt] Moroney predicted more aggressive enforcement by the DNR in the future as vacancies are filled.But remember that when Walker won the right to make the DNR a charter agency, one of its new powers was easier hiring without certain strictures imposed on other agencies.
"Big picture: Once we get fully staffed, I think you are going to see the number increase," he said.