Lautenschlager, 1st female Wisconsin attorney general, dies

Peg Lautenschlager

FOND DU LAC — Peg Lautenschlager, the first woman to serve as Wisconsin attorney general, has died. She was 62.

Bill Rippl, her husband, says she died early Saturday surrounded by family at their home in Fond du Lac. She had been diagnosed with cancer.

Lautenschlager had served as district attorney in Winnebago County, a Democratic state representative and a U.S. attorney in Madison before she won election as attorney general in 2002.

She was defeated in a primary in 2006, two years after being cited for drunken driving after she drove her state car into a ditch.

In 2016, she was appointed as the first commissioner of the newly formed Ethics Commission, from which she later resigned. Her career spanned more than 30 years.

Son Josh Kaul is now running for attorney general.

Governor Scott Walker released the following statement on her passing:

“Tonette and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Peg Lautenschlager. She was a dedicated and passionate public servant who became the first woman elected to serve as attorney general in Wisconsin history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this time.”

Attorney General Brad Schimel released the following statement Saturday, March 31, after learning about the passing of former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager:

“I did not know Peg well but many of the team members at the Wisconsin Department of Justice did, so I have learned more about her. Peg was passionate about her beliefs, cared deeply about her colleagues, and adored her family. I appreciate her many decades of public service and commitment to Wisconsin. She hired many of the fine public servants who now work at DOJ on behalf of the people of Wisconsin and her dedication lives on through their daily work. My sympathies and prayers go out to Peg’s family, friends, and colleagues.”