Theodore Lipscomb
Press Release

Abele Exceeds His Authority

Outside Lawyers Seek to Clarify Limits of His Power

By - Sep 10th, 2015 05:43 pm

The Milwaukee County Board hired outside counsel for advice and possible litigation on the separation of powers between the Board and County Executive Chris Abele.

“County Executive Chris Abele’s administration believes it is above the law and continues to reject commonly accepted checks and balances and statutory limitations to his authority in favor of unilateral actions and private deals,” said Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.

Lipscomb said that the County Executive has ignored adopted budget policy on issues such as increased pay for his political appointees. He added that the County Executive goes to the Legislature to “add to his powers by denying the people the right to speak on issues such as the $1 sale of the Park East to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“The County Executive did not hold a public hearing on the sale of the Park East.” Lipscomb said, “The County Executive has shut the public out of County government.  He has created a cloak of secrecy around his actions that are carried out with few details and without public hearings. The general public should not have to pay to hear their County Executive speak.”

Lipscomb said Corporation Counsel identified a conflict of interest because he represents both the Board and the County Executive. He added: “The County Executive creates a conflict every time he goes to Madison to amass more political power for himself. Corporation Counsel has indicated there is a conflict, and as we move forward we expect the County Executive will again obtain outside counsel.”

Lipscomb said he was especially troubled by the pay raises given to political appointees without Board approval.

“The County Executive has created a ‘shadow’ pay scale for his political appointees,” he said. “Under this ‘shadow’ pay scale, there’s nothing to stop him from authorizing a pay range with a maximum salary of $1 million.

Outside counsel will not challenge the results of last year’s referendum, Lipscomb said.

“We will only pursue litigation if advised by counsel, but we question the County Executive’s claims of authority to spend taxpayer funds unilaterally by raising a political appointee’s salary nearly $50,000,” he said.

Press Releases by Theodore Lipscomb

Theodore Lipscomb

Supervisors Consider Measure to Improve Pension Transparency

A live video stream would offer greater transparency because it would capture verbatim the discussion of Pension Board members in real time.

Theodore Lipscomb

Supervisors to Consider External Investigations of In-Custody Deaths

Milwaukee County Board expected to vote Thursday on establishing policy.

Theodore Lipscomb

New $17 Million Pension Administration Error Disclosed

Milwaukee County paid $11 million in lump sum pension payments in November to retirees and their beneficiaries to correct for underpayments.

Theodore Lipscomb

Abele Should Stand with Milwaukee County Residents and Help Shoulder the Burden of our Fiscal Challenges

"It's time for Abele to share the burden of Milwaukee County's fiscal challenges, like he promised."

Theodore Lipscomb

Lipscomb Hails Supervisors’ Adoption of Balanced Budget

Budget cuts spending, reduces tax levy, halves wheel tax

Theodore Lipscomb

Chairman Lipscomb Calls for Referendum on $60 Wheel Tax

Finance Committee unanimously recommends proposal to full board.

See More Releases

2 thoughts on “Abele Exceeds His Authority”

  1. Terry Ott says:

    Chairman Lipscomb’s lawyers would be well advised to find out if Mr. Abele has been visiting the POTUS in the White House for pointers. If so, the case would appear to be a slam dunk.

  2. AG says:

    Maybe if the board wasn’t completely dysfunctional and would likely block anything Abele puts forth “just because they can” then we wouldn’t have this sort of problem. The county board is petty, broken, and the voters have lost faith. But hey, thanks for wasting even more tax payer money with this latest lashing out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *