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State Assembly candidate backs off claim of age discrimination in leaving Kleefisch's office


WAUKESHA, WI (WTAQ) - A state Assembly candidate has backed off from her claim that she was pushed out of her top job in the lieutenant governor’s office due to age discrimination.

Jeanne Tarantino is one of five Republicans running in a primary next month for a vacant Assembly seat from Waukesha County.

Two media reports surfaced last week. They said Tarantino had mentioned numerous times in a deposition in a divorce case that she was replaced as the chief of staff for Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, because she’s a 46-year-old woman.

She transferred to another state agency last September for the same salary, and has since quit that job to run for the Legislature.

Governor Scott Walker has denied that discrimination was ever involved in her transfer. Kleefisch said the same – and in fact, she’s endorsing Tarantino in the Assembly primary.

Tarantino issued a statement Tuesday regretting what she said in her deposition. She blamed pressure from the divorce proceedings, calling them deeply personal and painful.

But as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out Wednesday morning, Tarantino did not give a full denial that the discrimination happened. In her deposition, she said she never filed a complaint because it would have hurt her chances of getting another state job.