(WLUK) -- Former state Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman says he hasn't been able to determine who was in charge of Green Bay's November 2020 election.
On Wednesday, Gableman provided a progress report for the Republican-backed investigation he is leading. No city was brought up more than Green Bay in the nearly 90 minutes he spent talking with the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections.
“Who really was in charge of the election in the City of Green Bay? I think that is a very legitimate question that the legislature is looking at to make sure its laws, the laws it passed on behalf of the people of this state, were followed,” said Gableman.
As FOX 11 has extensively covered, the city accepted $1.6 million from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to help administer last November's election.
While city officials have maintained they did nothing wrong, there have been accusations outsiders connected to the grant money, who have Democratic ties, took charge of Green Bay's election operations.
“Let me say we've had varying degrees of lack of cooperation,” said Gableman. “We have the city of Green Bay hiring the three law firms, so I don't even know who I'm allowed to talk with there.”
The law firms are providing free counsel. City officials have refused to explain why their services were retained.
While Republicans praised Gableman's update, Democrats blasted the lack of transparency from his investigation.
“I want to have faith in your investigation,” said State Rep. Jodi Emerson, D-Eau Claire. “In order to do that, I need you to share with me and with the taxpayers of Wisconsin, who is digging into this stuff. Who is asking the questions?”
Gableman refused to share the names of people he hired to conduct the probe, which is costing taxpayers about $675,000. He said they will be shared once the work is complete.
“The reality is the November 2020 election was safe and secure and conducted very well despite a global pandemic,” said State Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, while speaking directly to Gableman. “When you point to the poll numbers of people who don't believe that, I think you quite frankly are one of the people who is undermining voter credibility in our elections and doing damage to our democracy, the very damage you're here speaking against.”
“That is ridiculous,” said Gableman to Spreitzer in a heated exchange. “That is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.”
Gableman did not provide a timeline for when his investigation will be done. He says it will include robust legislative options to restore faith in Wisconsin's elections.
Results of a nonpartisan audit released last month did not identify any widespread fraud.
Gableman has said he has no intention of trying to overturn the results of the election.
FOX 11 reached out to Green Bay's mayor for comment about Gableman's update. However, we have not heard back.