MADISON, Wis. — Republican state Rep. Dale Kooyenga says he will reimburse taxpayers the $30,000 the state is paying to settle a lawsuit over his removal of a Capitol protester’s sign.
Kooyenga’s announcement came shortly after Gov. Scott Walker’s administration released footage of the incident in response to requests by The Associated Press and other news organizations to make it public.
Kooyenga says he will reimburse taxpayers “with the assistance of family and friends.” Kooyenga is an accountant from Brookfield who is running for the state Senate this fall.
The video shows Kooyenga walking into the Capitol with a coffee cup in hand. He glances at the sign, then returns and reads it. He comes back shortly afterward, takes the sign and leaves.
The state reached a settlement earlier this month with the protester whose sign Kooyenga took in May. The sign referred to President Donald Trump as “sadistic,” ”racist” and a “serial groper.”
Kooyenga has said he took the sign because he thought its placement along a curved wall of the Capitol posed a security risk.