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Officials deny Suder was pushed out of PSC job over controversial grant

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Officials say former Assembly leader Scott Suder was not pushed out of a state administrator's job because of his involvement in a controversial grant. 

Suder resigned Thursday, four days before he was supposed to become the Public Service Commission's administrator for water conservation and consumer affairs. 

Instead, he'll start Monday as a vice president of government relations and lobbyist for the Wisconsin Paper Council.  

Suder's PSC job was given to Assembly Republican Jeff Stone of Greendale, who plans to leave the Assembly October 14th.  

Julie Lund of the governor's office said Suder mentioned in his initial discussions with the PSC that the Paper Council might have an opportunity for him. Lund said Governor Scott Walker wishes Suder well in his new post. 

Suder left a month ago as the Assembly's Republican Majority Leader, amid criticism for convincing lawmakers to budget a half-million dollars for a grant that critics say was targeted for the politically-connected United Sportsmen. 

A committee approved the grant in August, but Walker later rescinded it.  

Both the governor's office and the PSC deny forcing Suder to leave his new state job due to the controversy. 

This week, it was learned that Suder went on a free fishing trip offered by the group's lobbyist just days before the grant was approved. Suder insisted he paid his own way. 

The liberal One Wisconsin Now group has filed a complaint over the matter.