Court Rules Against Abele Again, Denies Stay
The court found that County Executive Abele failed to demonstrate a "strong showing for success" on appeal.
MILWAUKEE – A Milwaukee County Circuit Court ruled against County Executive Chris Abele again today in a long-running dispute over the role and authority of the county executive to determine compensation and award raises for county employees.
Judge John DiMotto denied Abele’s request for a stay of his earlier ruling, which found that Abele had acted outside the bounds of his authority when he unilaterally awarded unauthorized pay increases to political appointees and other high-level county officials.
The court found that County Executive Abele failed to demonstrate a “strong showing for success” on appeal, one of four factors required to grant a stay that the court said Abele failed to meet, and labeled his argument for a stay as “speculative.”
Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., issued the following statement:
“We accept the court’s ruling and are eager to move past the overreach of the county executive over the past several years so we can focus on serving the needs of the taxpayers of Milwaukee County.
“The county is faced with a number of serious issues that are more important than Abele defending excessive salaries and inflated pensions for his political appointees. We simply can’t be bogged down with unnecessarily drawn out legal fights because the county executive refuses to accept that there are limits to his authority. Abele should drop his appeal so we can all move forward.
“The court acknowledged that public service is about more than money, and in that spirit we want to sit down with the Abele administration and fix the problems that have been created by his insistence on unilateral salary increases, but that isn’t reasonable until County Executive Abele stops fighting the court’s judgment.
“Our constituents are counting on us to put political differences aside and focus on serving the public interest. County Executive Abele needs to accept the court’s ruling and acknowledge that our government is premised on a shared balance of powers so we can move forward together and conduct the people’s business.”