Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blanchard Seeks Half Million from Caucus Defendants; Jensen, Schultz to Appeal Cases

Dane County DA Brian Blanchard is seeking more than $500,000 in restitution from caucus scandal defendants Scott Jensen, Steve Foti and Sherry Schultz, according to a filing today in Dane County Court.

Blanchard is asking that the defendants pay back Schultz's salary from 1998-2001, when she was listed as a staffer in Foti's office but worked at the Assembly Republican Caucus. Over that period, she was paid $291,505, which Blanchard says works out to $97,168 each, if they pay it back equally.

Blanchard is also requesting that Jensen be ordered to pay back the salaries of seven former ARC staffers, totaling $242,334.03, from June '98 to Nov. '00. He also asked for defendants to pay back attorneys fees paid by the Assembly - $67,147 for Jensen, $27,981 for Foti, and $68,629 for Schultz.

Jensen, Schultz and Foti are scheduled to appear at a restitution hearing on Sept. 8 before Dane County Judge Steven Ebert.

Jensen and Schultz have filed notices of appeal with the Dane County Circuit Court clerk's office. Jensen's notice was filed last Thursday by Attorney Bob Friebert, who was hired after Jensen was convicted in March on three felony counts of misconduct in office and a misdemeanor ethics violation. Schultz's appeal was filed Tuesday by Jennifer Krueger, who works with Schultz's attorney Stephen Morgan in the Murphy Desmond law firm.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Biskupic Answers Thompson Motion for Acquittal

U.S. Attorney Stephen Biskupic filed a response this week to Georgia Thompson's request for an acquittal or new trial. Thompson is the former DOA employee who was convicted in June of steering travel contract bids to Adelman Travel, a business whose owners contributed to Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign.

In the response, Biskupic lays out a blow-by-blow account of the trial and evidence presented to refute Thompson attorney Stephen Hurley's assertion that the jury convicted her without "any direct or 'smoking gun' evidence."

Biskupic says that Thompson knew of the connection between Doyle and Adelman, and that motivated her actions.

"Georgia Thompson was aware of that relationship, perceived Adelman Travel to be the politically favored choice of the Doyle Administration, and as a result took extreme affirmative steps to rig the bid in favor of Adelman Travel," says Biskupic in the filing.

"That there was a significant political connection between Adelman Travel andthe upper-levels of state government - including Governor Doyle and his staff, as well as DOA Secretary Mark Marotta - cannot seriously be questioned," says Biskupic.

Thompson's own statements remove the jury's decision from the realm of inference to the level of proof, Biskupic argues.

"The pervasiveness of these connections strongly supports an inference that Thompson knew that they existed. And her statements remove any doubt as to whether Thompson believed that Adelman Travel was the administration’s politically favored choice. While the travel contracts were being evaluated, Thompson told others involved in the evaluation process that, for political reasons, the contract could not go to Omega."

Hurley had no comment on the filing today. Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 22. She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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