Walker contributor's son leaves state job

April 8, 2011 at 12:20 PM
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MADISON, Wis., April 8 (UPI) -- The son of a prominent supporter of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has left state employment following criticism over his appointment to the public position.

The state Commerce Department said Brian Deschane has resigned as administrator of environmental and regulatory matters, an $81,500-per-year post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

Commerce spokesman Tony Hozeny said he didn't know whether Deschane provided a reason for leaving, saying, "He just resigned."

Walker removed Deschane from the administrative position after a newspaper commentary highlighted how Deschane -- who had no college degree, little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions -- got the Commerce post despite the Republican governor's repeated statements the state was broke and government workers were overpaid.

On Tuesday Walker said Deschane would return to his previous position as a bureau director at the Department of Regulation and Licensing, a $64,728-per-year position.

"Most people in their 20s would kill for a 'demotion' to $64,000, but the children of Scott Walker contributors have a certain lifestyle to maintain, apparently," state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said.

It is not clear why Deschane, who did not return phone calls, opted to resign instead of take the demotion, the Journal Sentinel reported. He is the son of Jerry Deschane, a longtime official and lobbyist for the Wisconsin Builders Association, which donated more than $121,000 to Walker and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, during last year's election.

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