December 5, 2003
Catch this. Pension-fund management firms in Milwaukee gave tens of thousands of dollars in gifts, travel and entertainment to Milwaukee County Pension Board members. (See Gail Shea's excellent article about the State Ethics board.)
Recall that the pension scandal in Milwaukee caused the downfall of county executive Tom Ament and many county board members through resignations or recall elections.
You will think I am making this up, but the MJS now reports that the firms that gave the gifts would avoid civil prosecution if they agree to stop giving things of value to pension officials in the future. Boy, talk about tough! And, the board is considering a "brief time-out period" during which bidders on county contracts could not contribute campaign funds to county elected officials.
The Gods must be crazy. Here are companies providing gifts directly to those officials who will decide on their contracts. We used to call that bribery. The penalty? Sit in the corner for the entire recess.
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