Thursday, April 13, 2006

Foti: You Gotta Play the Cards You're Dealt

Former Assembly Majority Leader Steve Foti tells WisPolitics his testimony against former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen has not hurt their friendship and he didn't appeal his sentence because of time and money.

Foti, a lobbyist, is also working out details for Huber release during his 60-day jail sentence. The Oconomowoc Republican pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in January, avoiding a felony charge of misconduct in office.

"This isn't easy on anybody," Foti said. "You really find out who your friends and supporters are."

Foti was required by the plea to testify at the trial of his former colleague Jensen, who was convicted last month on three felonies and one misdemeanor count of misconduct in office.

Foti said it has not hurt their friendship. "Not at all," he said. "We're still friends. We still talk."

Jensen will be sentenced on May 16.

Asked why he didn't appeal the sentence by Dane County Judge Steven Ebert,
which was double the recommendation from prosecutor Brian Blanchard, Foti
said time and money were a consideration. The decision wasn't easy, he said, but summed it up by saying, "You gotta play the cards you're dealt, and these are the cards I've been dealt."

"It would cost me thousands of dollars and many months, by the time I'm
all done," Foti said. "And by the time it's over I'm only fighting about
30 days."

Foti said he asked the begin his sentence early so he could be out in time
for the summer months. "I wanted to move it up and get it going," he said.

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