16 Jul Wisconsin secretary of commerce resigns after less than 8 months
Jack Fischer submitted his resignation as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce today, according to a news release. The resignation is effective this Friday.
“When I left the private sector to become Commerce Secretary, I did so to serve the people and businesses of Wisconsin,” Fischer was quoted as saying in the Department of Commerce release, which said there would be no further comments to the media. “During my tenure, we advanced the economic interests of this state and helped it to be competitive and receptive to new business development while helping existing businesses to remain in Wisconsin and prosper. … [I]t has become increasingly difficult to carry out the mission of the Department, and I do not want to stand in the way of continuing progress; because of that, I am resigning.”
While no further reason is provided for his departure, it comes after a number of reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news sources about Fischer’s participation in trade missions.
One report said that Fischer and an assistant spent more than $21,000 on international trips, as the state is clamping down on employee travel. Another report said that participants in a March trade mission to Ireland were critical of Fischer’s role.
Fischer plans to return to the private sector. He became secretary of the department last November 26, replacing Mary Burke, who had held the job since 2004 and left to pursue nonprofit and foundation interests.
Before being appointed secretary, Fischer was president and CEO of The Fischer Group Companies, Fischer Investors Inc. and J.L. Fischer Inc.