Gov. Evers Grants More Than 100 Pardons in First Two Years in Office
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced he has granted another 33 pardons. The new 33 pardons granted this week brings the total of the governor’s pardons to 107 during his first two years in office.
“Here in Wisconsin, we believe in the power of second chances and the doors it can open not only for an individual but their family and their communities,” said Gov. Evers. “From pursuing their career goals, whether in nursing, divinity, or becoming a hunting and fishing guide, to simply finding peace of mind after making amends, a pardon opens those doors for folks to move forward.”
Gov. Evers granted pardons to the following people:
- Kelly Adams-Fant was struggling with a substance use disorder in her early twenties when she was convicted for her role in drug sales occurring out of a hotel room rented in her name. Ms. Adams-Fant has since completed intensive treatment and maintains her sobriety. She resides in Sussex with her family, with whom she operates a lawn care company.
- Matthew Barth was in high school when he stole a laptop computer. He has since obtained his bachelor’s degree and has built a career in information technology and security. He resides in Encinitas, California, and hopes a pardon may help him to secure employment here in Wisconsin.
- Gerald Brown was a student at UW-Whitewater in 2008 when he sold marijuana to a confidential informant. Residing in Oak Creek, Mr. Brown obtained his bachelor’s degree and now works as an account sales manager.
- Nicole Brown is now 48 years old and has worked with Milwaukee Public Schools as a paraprofessional since 2009. When she was in her early 20s, Ms. Brown failed to disclose income while she was receiving government assistance, which resulted in an overpayment of assistance. Ms. Brown resides in Milwaukee.
- Michael Caban was convicted of selling marijuana nearly 13 years ago. Since then, he completed his probation, continued his education, and is hoping a pardon will help him advance his career in IT. Mr. Caban lives in New Berlin.
- Damion Campbell was working his first job out of high school when he stole items from his employer, a local gas station. Now 48 years old, Mr. Campbell has maintained employment with the Otis Elevator Company for 28 years. He lives in Mukwonago with his wife and children.
- Trevor Colby was the passenger in a fleeing vehicle 26 years ago that struck a curb before he and the driver fled on foot, after an attempted stop for illegally shining deer. Now 48 years old, Mr. Colby resides in Poynette and works in asbestos remediation. He hopes a pardon will allow him to follow his dream of being a hunting and fishing guide.
- Jeremy DesJarlais was 19 when he and two friends stole $3,000 in rolled quarters from the trunk of a vehicle 23 years ago. Since then, Mr. DesJarlais has been a member of the Bonduel Fire Department and a medical first responder with the Bonduel EMS team. He resides in Pulaski with his family.
- Eddie Hayes was convicted of receiving stolen property in 1980. He retired from Milwaukee County in 2008, having been employed for nearly 28 years as a custodial and maintenance worker. Mr. Brown resides in Milwaukee.
- Jenny Jordahl is now 37 years old and living with her husband and children in Eau Claire, but over ten years ago, she was struggling with a substance use disorder and intermittent housing insecurity. She has since completed intensive inpatient treatment and maintains her sobriety. Jordahl is a nursing student, with hopes of becoming a registered nurse.
- Earma Jordan was 18 when she was caught with cocaine. Ms. Jordan has maintained employment as a caregiver and hopes to continue her education. Ms. Jordan lives in Milwaukee.
- Richard Kaminski was a teenager when he sold marijuana to an undercover police officer almost 40 years ago. He has furthered his education with two degrees. He is a proud father of two adult children, and he hopes to obtain his U.S. citizenship. Mr. Kaminski lives in Renton, Washington.
- Wallace Klusken lied to a judge about his knowledge of an incident in which he and another man pushed over a parked motorcycle 27 years ago. He has been a member of the United States Navy for 21 years and now serves in the Air Guard. He lives in Watertown.
- Matthew Krol was 20 years old with a newly purchased motorcycle when he led officers on a late-night chase through multiple jurisdictions. Now 43, Mr. Krol has maintained a career as a union sheet metal journeyman and lives in De Pere with his wife and five sons.
- Alan Louis was struggling with substance use disorder when he sold cocaine to an undercover police officer over 30 years ago. He is now an active member of the La Crosse community, where he also operates two jewelry stores with his wife, with whom he shares two children and five grandchildren.
- Shanique Marizette was in her early twenties when she was working as a bank teller and fraudulently withdrew monies from multiple client accounts over three weeks. Twenty years later, Ms. Marizette is a bus operator with the Milwaukee County Transit System. She resides in Milwaukee.
- Bert Moede, Jr. was 17 years old when he and a friend drove their families’ ATVs to two cabins in the area, ultimately breaking in to take small items. Twenty years have since passed, and Mr. Moede is employed by his tribal community and lives in Bowler with his family.
- Scott Mullikin was a teenager and experiencing housing instability when he was caught selling marijuana within 1000 feet of a park. The offense occurred over 25 years ago. Mr. Mullikin has worked as a machine operator since 2006 and resides in Sun Prairie with his family.
- Benjamin Olivier was a UW-Whitewater student when he sold marijuana to a confidential informant. Mr. Olivier obtained his bachelor’s degree and is a manager at a medical device company. He is now 44 years old and lives in Waukesha with his family.
- Kenneth Phillips, now nearly 59 years old and retired from a career in the commercial fencing industry, was in his early 20s when he sold marijuana to an undercover police officer. Mr. Phillips now lives with his wife in Mulberry, Tennessee.
- Shawn Pitsch was 22 years old when he sold marijuana to an informant over 20 years ago. He completed his probation, has maintained employment, and is an active member of his community. He resides in Neenah.
- Therese Randall did not disclose employment while collecting public assistance 25 years ago, which resulted in an overpayment of benefits for which she paid full restitution. She has earned her undergraduate degree and MBA from Concordia and devoted her career as a public employee, serving the Milwaukee community, where she lives.
- Ben Rauls was a teenager when he and a group of friends committed a series of crimes during the winter of 1997-1998, which included forcing entry into a construction company property to steal items and damage property, including doors, light fixtures, and windows. He has worked as a truck driver since 2009 and lives in Fond du Lac with his family.
- Samuel Ross was convicted for his role in the theft of monies from a victim’s bank account nearly 15 years ago. Now 49 years old, Mr. Ross works as a ride-share driver and an independent DJ and audio technician, splitting his time between Milwaukee and Miami Beach, Florida.
- Cleo Russell, currently 82 years old, was 19 when he and two friends stole a car from a dealership to take it joyriding. He has a passion for hunting and is looking forward to resuming those activities. Mr. Russell lives in Sheboygan Falls.
- Tyrone Scott, over 30 years ago, burglarized an unrented apartment of tools and building supplies and was caught around the same time dealing marijuana. Now almost 60 years old, Mr. Scott lives in Milwaukee and is a driver for an area hotel chain.
- Nikolas Simonson was a teenager when he participated in a series of burglaries in Wausau, primarily stealing gasoline and miscellaneous items from residential garages. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree here in Wisconsin and now resides in Seattle, Washington, where he is pursuing a graduate degree in civil engineering.
- Nicholas Svetlauskas was 20 years old and struggling with a substance use disorder when he and another assaulted an individual who was cooperating with law enforcement. Twenty years later, he has since obtained and maintains his sobriety, earned his bachelor’s degree, and has a career in mental health and addiction services. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Jerry Watkins, Jr. was 17 and homeless when he and another young man robbed a woman while brandishing a fake weapon. After turning himself over to police, Mr. Watkins served a prison sentence. Upon release, Mr. Watkins immediately started on a path towards education. While still on supervision, he started at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, then transferred to UW-Whitewater where he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and gained employment as a counselor. He lives in Milwaukee and plans to start on his Ph.D. candidacy upon receipt of a pardon.
- Steven Watson was 21 years old when he broke into a bar and stole alcohol and cigarettes. The offense occurred over 30 years ago, and since then Mr. Watson has maintained his sobriety. Mr. Watson now lives with his wife and children in Lancaster.
- Chad Welch was the principal of a Wisconsin high school in 2008 when he used school funds for personal expenses. Mr. Welch has since sought to address and manage the mental health issues that led to the offense and has obtained his Master of Divinity degree, with hopes of becoming an ordained Lutheran pastor. Mr. Welch resides in Green Bay.
- Shaquita White was caught with cocaine 12 years ago. Ms. White has since maintained employment as a caregiver and medical aide and hopes to use this pardon to help her continue her education in nursing. Ms. White lives in Killee, Texas with her children.
- Brad Zoellick was 18 years old when he was intoxicated and led officers on a chase in Waukesha County. Since then, Mr. Zoellick has maintained employment and is active with his union and faith community. Now 42 years old, Mr. Zoellick lives in Watertown with his wife and children.
The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses. A pardon does not result in an expungement.
Under Executive Order 30, individuals convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have not committed any new crimes. Individuals currently required to register on the sex offender registry are ineligible for a pardon.
The pardon application, instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the pardon process are located on the Governor’s website: www.evers.wi.gov/Pages/pardon-information.aspx
The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board will continue to meet virtually monthly and will be reconvening again on Dec. 11, 2020. That hearing will air on WisEye.Org/Live from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
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