First, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen decided that the Department of Justice he leads would not appeal the decision reversing Scott Jensen's felony convictions and granting the former Assembly speaker a new trial. Now he's saying that Jensen shouldn't be retried but rather the case should be settled through a plea agreement.
At the bottom of the story in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it says "Van Hollen conceded that he could indirectly influence Blanchard's decision to retry Jensen by denying the district attorney resources he had during the first trial, including the courtroom help of Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte, one of the Justice Department's most experienced prosecutors. "
What makes all this more curious is the fact that the second in command at the Justice Department, Van Hollen's hand-picked deputy Ray Taffora, used to represent Jensen. Jensen hired Taffora and his law firm to negotiate with the prosecutor in hopes of ending at least part of the investigation. And Taffora's firm also was paid to negotiate a settlement with the state Ethics Board and Elections Board.
Before that, Jensen hired Taffora and his firm to help him and his fellow Assembly Republicans with legislative redistricting.