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Questions about former Commerce secretary's limo use in Twin Cities trip

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River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Former state commerce secretary Jack Fischer rented a limousine and a driver to get to three business meetings in Minnesota's Twin Cities in January.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Fischer charged taxpayers $561, which included a mandatory $90 tip for the driver.

He could have rented almost as fancy of a car for just a quarter of the cost.

Fischer resigned 12 days ago, after billing $21,000 in expenses for himself and his administrative assistant for three foreign trips this past spring.

Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, called the Twin Cities limousine pathetic.

As the state keeps digging out of budget deficits, Cowles says all cabinet secretaries must get the message to ratchet down.

Fischer took the Minnesota trip with deputy commerce secretary Aaron Olver, who's now filling in at the top spot.

He said they rented the limo to make the most efficient use of Fischer's time. He didn't know why they didn't rent a car because he didn't make the arrangements.

Olver said they met with three companies that day including Carver Boat, which agreed to a build a new plant in Green Bay and add 450 jobs.

Olver says it's important to recruit firms like that but they must do it as cost-effectively as possible.

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