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Kurt Benkley

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Op Ed: Clarke At Fault On County Jail
Op Ed

Clarke At Fault On County Jail

Inmate denied water for seven days? Walker should replace the sheriff.

Campaign adviser to Joe Davis charged in elaborate check-kiting scheme
Citation

Campaign adviser to Joe Davis charged in elaborate check-kiting scheme

The Roundup: Broadband Quote of the Week
The Roundup

Broadband Quote of the Week

"Well, if I was a consumer I would say, "Why in the hell is the United States No. 13 and heading south in broadband deployment?"

The Roundup: Marsupial Bridge Update
The Roundup

Marsupial Bridge Update

The concrete walkway of the Holton Marsupial Bridge will be poured beginning today.

The Roundup: Kennedy Walks
The Roundup

Kennedy Walks

Substantial Fine for Possession of Forged Artwork

The Roundup: More OIC – George Connections
The Roundup

More OIC – George Connections

Although the Gary George – OIC-GM connections are well documented, particularly those that have led to the convictions of George, Mark Sostarich and Carl Gee, recently-released audit information and other source documents indicate that perhaps the OIC-George connection needs to be further investigated. Nobody is accusing anybody of wrongdoing, but perhaps investigators should dig a little deeper into the dealings of George and those connected with him, if only to remove any hint of suspicion from settling on the mantle of the innocent. Take, for instance, the relationship between Todd Robert Murphy, OIC-GM and Gary George. Murphy was recently relieved of his Public Relations contract with OIC-GM, and was replaced by Martin Schreiber and Associates. The recent audit of the OIC-GM accounts indicated that payments made by OIC-GM to TRM Marketing Consultants, Murphy’s firm, were “unallowable expenses,” according to Paul Steiber of the State of Wisconsin. His review included two months during which Murphy received $4,000 per month from OIC-GM. Was this a “cushy consulting job,” as Leon Todd has suggested? Todd said the Murphy-planted cover story about OIC-GM that appeared in the Shepherd Express (and, interestingly, in newspapers in the African-American community) was “not enough” to save him his job. According to the audit, OIC-GM was not authorized to hire a public relations consultant with W2 funds. The Ethics Board did not have a complete accounting of the amount of money Murphy’s firm was paid over the years. The board was investigating “direct” payments, and Murphy’s were considered “indirect.” According to John Becker of the Ethics Board, the payments to Todd Robert Murphy’s firm “were not something we focused on.” Nor has the board “seen any checks,” from OIC-GM to Murphy, he said. One wonders if the State of Wisconsin Ethics Board should have done a better job reviewing its own documents, for the Statements of Economic Interests filed by George for the years 1999-2001 show that George received more than $1,000 per year from Murphy’s firm. It would be interesting to know how much exactly per year Murphy sent to George, and what he got in exchange. George also reported receiving funds from Petrie and Stocking, the firm that employed Mark Sostarich, who gave George kickbacks from OIC funds. George also received money from Coleman & Williams, Ltd., an accounting firm. Coleman & Williams also received money from OIC – to conduct an audit of the OIC books. Isn’t it odd that an accounting firm that received money from OIC-GM would also, coincidentally, be sending more than $1,000 per year to George, who was systematically swindling OIC-GM out of money, with the connivance of Carl Gee, the group’s director, and Mark Sostarich, the Petrie and Stocking lawyer? Bill Coleman, of the accounting firm, said the relationship was quite innocent, and that he had hired Gary George to do unspecified legal work for his firm. Since many aspects of attorney-client relationships are privileged, we’ll have to take his word for it. Still, workers at the Ethics Board, the United […]

The Roundup: Feds Stop Funding School, Library Internet and Phone Service
The Roundup

Feds Stop Funding School, Library Internet and Phone Service

Two months ago, the federal grants stopped.