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Controversy surrounds committee appointment of Harold Froehlich to GAB

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Democrats on a state Senate committee rejected the appointment of former judge and Congressman Harold Froehlich to the state Government Accountability Board. 

The elections' panel reached a 2-2 deadlock Wednesday before Sheboygan Republican Joe Leibham -- who was listening on the phone and was cut off -- called back and cast the deciding vote.

Democrats questioned Froehlich's ability to act fairly on the non-partisan elections and ethics board. That's after learned he gave $200 to Governor Scott Walker's campaign and another $200 to a GOP Senate campaign group in 2011.  

One reporter said Republican committee chair Mary Lazich stormed out of the meeting, after Democrat Lena Taylor refused to stop questioning the panel's attorney. Lazich returned a few minutes later, and Leibham had cast his yes vote while she was gone. 

Lazich said Froehlich has proven he would be an even-handed on the board. She noted that a panel of four current appeals judges recommended Froehlich's appointment, and he had served honorably as a judge in Appleton for 30 years. 

The full Senate could vote on Froehlich's confirmation as early as Tuesday.

He's one of four new Walker appointees to the Accountability Board. The others include new appointee Elsa Lamelas, and holdover members Gerald Nichol and Tim Vocke.