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Suit seeks to oust NRB member

Posted at 4:30 p.m. on August 18, 2021

The Brillion News

MADISON. – Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced on August 18 that the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a complaint in Dane County Circuit Court to prevent Frederick Prehn from continuing to serve on the state Natural Resources Board (NRB).

The attorney general maintains that Prehn is acting illegally as a NRB member after refusing to leave when his appointment ran out.

“Dr. Prehn’s term is over,” Kaul said. “We’re asking for a clear ruling that Dr. Prehn is no longer a member of the Natural Resources Board.”

Prehn was appointed to the NRB by former Governor Scott Walker, a Republican.

His six-year term expired on May 1, 2021, and Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, appointed Sandra Naas as his replacement.

Evers named her as Prehn’s successor the day before Prehn’s term ended. Her appointment has yet to be approved by the state Senate, which is controlled by a Republican majority.

[Photo: Dane County Courthouse]

Prehn continues to claim NRB membership until Naas is confirmed by the Senate, and he continues to exercise his office's duties, including voting on matters coming before the NRB – which governs the state Department of Natural Resources.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, seeks an expedited hearing from the circuit court.

It asks the court for a writ to remove Prehn form the NRB, or a declaratory judgment allowing Evers to remove Prehn from the board if he wishes.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, August 17. The case was assigned to Dane County Judge Nia Trammell.


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