Thursday, October 06, 2005

Potential Burke Sentence Draws Comparisons to Shoemaker

The Burke plea brought back memories of former Sen. Dick Shoemaker, D-Menomonie, implicated in the "lobby scandal'' of the late 1980s. Shoemaker was charged in 1989 with five felonies, pleaded to five misdemeanors, and served 45 days of a 60 day sentence. As part of the plea agreement, he also had to pay $300 in court costs and assessments and give up his seat.

The sentencing in Shoemaker's took place almost exactly 16 years ago this week. See clips from the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram about Shoemaker's misdeeds.

Oct. 1, 1989:
-- Unhappy ending; Shoemaker feeling hurt as resignation nears
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/051007ending.pdf

-- Peers say senator worked hard
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/051007colleagues.pdf

Oct. 3, 1989:
-- Judge lambastes Shoemaker at sentencing
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/large/051007sentencing.pdf

According to one of the stories, Shoemaker pleaded guilty to "receiving money from a lobbyist, failing to disclose an $8,500 loan on three financial disclosure statements, defrauding his campaign committee of less than $500, inflating a receipt from a fundraiser at a Madison restaurant, and using his public position to accept something of value for private benefit."

After pleading guilty, Shoemaker said he had to accept the package of five misdemeanors or risk being charged with a felony. At sentencing, Dane County Judge Daniel Moeser told Shoemaker his "arrogance, ignorance and ego" caught up with him while Shoemaker's attorney Steven Hurley defended the legislator for raising money to pay his legal fees.

The Shoemaker case was part of a scandal that nicked other legislators and lobbyists, many of whom continued in their posts.

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