Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Randa Denies Thompson Bail Pending Appeal

Former DOA employee Georgia Thompson will begin serving her 18 month prison term on Nov. 27, her bid to remain free pending appeal denied last week by U.S. Circuit Court Judge Rudolph Randa.

In his decision, Randa said Thompson and her attorneys failed to provide any legal evidence that would suggest her conviction would be overturned on appeal.

Thompson was convicted in June and sentenced in September for steering a state travel contract to a Milwaukee company that contributed to Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign. Prosecutors said Thompson pushed to have the contract awarded to Adelman Travel because she felt it would help her career. The defense argued that prosecutors never provided any proof that higher-ups pressured Tholmpson, or that she was aware Adelman executives supported Doyle.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Caucus Scandal Prosecutors Files Restitution Request with Arbitrator

Former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen could pay up to $533,100 inrestitution, and another $67,147 in attorneys fees, depending on thefindings of an arbitrator charged with figuring out who owes what in thecaucus scandal case.

Prosecutors Brian Blanchard and Roy Korte submitted their findings to arbitrator Gerald Nichol Oct. 2. Defense attorneys have not filed responses as of today. On Sept. 11, Dane County Judge Steven Ebert gavethe sides 60 days to come back to his court.

"This is not the typical case in which restitution is owed to anindividual victim," write the prosecutors. "Yet it is no less essentialunder the applicable law that the state's taxpayers, as represented by the Assembly Chief Clerk, be made whole to the same degree as any other victimas a result of the defendants' intentional, long running, andsophisticated thefts from every taxpayer in the state of Wisconsin."

Jensen should be held solely responsible for the $243,000 in salary andbenefits for seven other employees from the Assembly Republican Caucus orJensen's Capitol office. The prosecution says the amounts "areconservative, and not an attempt to recover for the taxpayers any morethan was shown without question at trial ..."

All three defendants could share in paying back the approximately $290,000in salary and benefits Schultz drew as a state employee in Foti's office,the prosecution argues. Split three ways, each would pay $96,559.

The prosecutors list Schultz as owing $68,629 and Foti $27,981 in restution to the Chief Clerk of the Assembly. The

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hurtgen Case Moves Forward As Kickback Investigation Expands

Nick Hurtgen, a former aide to ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson, had another uneventful hearing today in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Attorneys told Judge John F. Grady more time is needed for discovery, and a status hearing was set for Nov. 29.

The news today, however, involved a newly unsealed indictment against Hurtgen co-defendant Stuart Levine and Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a top fundraiser for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Among other charges, the indictment alleges that Levine and Rezko assisted Janesville-based Mercy Hospital in getting a permit to build a new hospital in Crystal Lake, Illinois, in exchange for a kickback to be paid by the contractor to Levine and Rezko of approximately $1 million.

U.S. Attorney's office spokesman Randall Samborn said the indictment and new charges do not involve Hurtgen, formerly senior managing director in the Chicago office of Bear Stearns & Co. Hurtgen is facing three counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of extortion.

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