Tuesday, October 16th

Brad Schimel, a Republican, is attorney general for the state of Wisconsin.(Photo: Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Attorney General Brad Schimel really doesn't like criticism. 

His agency went after an ex-assistant attorney general last year after he made critical remarks in the Journal Sentinel over a deal the Department of Justice had struck with a polluter. 

Schimel's office said it was looking into whether the retiree — Thomas Dawson, long the state's top environmental lawyer — provided confidential information to the press. 

Officials said they still considered Dawson a state worker because his unused vacation time was being paid out to him, although he had returned all his state equipment, was no longer working day-to-day at the agency and his resignation letter had been accepted by the Justice Department months earlier.

"I regard what they did as retaliation," Dawson said this week of the previously undisclosed investigation. 

RELATED: Wisconsin allows 3M to settle pollution case without paying fine