Official Pushes To Make County Treasurer An Appointed Position

Change Would Require Amending State Constitution


An Eau Claire County official is seeking to amend the state constitution to make county treasurers an appointed position, following a major embezzlement case involving a former treasurer.

Eau Claire County Board Supervisor Jean Schlieve said she’ll introduce a resolution in February calling on lawmakers to vote for such an amendment. Currently, county treasurers are an elected position.

Schlieve said that when Wisconsin became a state in 1848, the position was not as specialized as it is now. She said counties need a better vetting process.

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“We need to have someone with some expertise,” she said. “The way it is now, anybody can be elected.”

Last May, the Eau Claire County treasurer and his assistant were arrested for stealing more than $600,000 from taxpayers. Schlieve said the case should add momentum to her proposal.

“The problem with it before was people said, ‘Well, yeah that’s a good idea. But we’ve got other things to do.’ And now we don’t. We have to do this,” said Schlieve.

The Wisconsin Counties Association said the idea of changing the way treasurers are selected isn’t new, but there isn’t a lot of support elsewhere in the state for a change.