Schimel's DOJ investigated employee who talked to reporter

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel investigated a former assistant attorney general after he made critical remarks in a newspaper story.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that Schimel's office was looking into whether the retiree provided confidential information to the press about a deal with state Department of Justice struck with a polluter.

Thomas Dawson was the state's top environmental lawyer before retiring in January 2017. Dawson tells the Journal Sentinel that he provided his opinion and no documents when he talked with a newspaper reporter in March 2017.

Dawson told the newspaper then that he and other attorneys had recommended a hefty fine against Minnesota-based 3M but was overridden by higher-ups in the agency.

Schimel spokesman Alec Hanna says Dawson provided "confidential information" to the reporter, but didn't specify what that was.