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Racine Mayor John Dickert Accused In Federal Lawsuit Of Accepting Illegal Financial Contributions From A Local Tavern League

February 26, 2014


News that surely did not bring a smile to the face of Racine Mayor John Dickert is making headlines today.  While there has not yet been a reply from Dickert concerning the charges at the time of this posting, one can assume that soon there will be a statement from city hall.

Eight people who once owned bars in Racine have filed a civil lawsuit accusing the mayor and other city officials of discriminating against them and forcing their businesses to close.

The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against Mayor John Dickert, the city of Racine and others accuses top city officials of preventing minority bar owners from acquiring or renewing their liquor licenses.

It also accuses Dickert of accepting illegal financial contributions from the local tavern league and rewarding the league’s white members with the newly surrendered liquor licenses or high-level city positions.

One Comment
  1. ggodmuls permalink
    February 27, 2014 9:51 AM

    The Complaint goes into a rather detailed description of how the financial contribution scheme worked. One is led to believe that an Insider talked and that there is a paper trail that leaves a chain of evidence – or that it’s a fantasy, as some in Racine would claim it to be. One of the law firms handling the case is National is it’s scope and size.

    Why is there no coverage of this story at The Wisconsin State Journal? If true, it should vastly overshadow and of the ho-hum juvenile level Walker E-mails. Is it too fantastic to believe? From the complaint:

    “41. Members of the Tavern League, including Defendants LeGath and Nicholson,
    were instrumental in raising money for Dickert’s campaign. Several Tavern League members, including LeGath and Nicholson, contributed large amounts of money to the campaign. The money was collected from the Tavern League members by Dickert’s campaign staff and volunteers, including Defendants Osterman and Bach. The cash amounts routinely exceeded the cash limits for individuals, as well as the total contribution limits for individuals. With the full knowledge and consent of Dickert, the Tavern League money was fraudulently reported in campaign finance reports by Dickert’s campaign staff, including his treasurer, Defendant Jerger. The fraudulent reporting was known to the core members of the campaign, including Defendants Osterman and Bach. The bribe monies were deposited in the bank account of Dickert’s campaign organization, “The Friends of Dickert.” In exchange for their financial support, Dickert appointed many of the Tavern League contributors to powerful positions within the municipal government and awarded other contributors with City-funded business.

    42. Dickert also received thousands of dollars in personal loans that were deposited
    into his personal bank account. The personal loans, which came from sources including a family member living outside the State of Wisconsin and a member of Dickert’s campaign staff, were elicited for the purpose of circumventing the maximum allowable campaign contributions. Dickert then used the proceeds to write checks to his campaign under the guise that they were coming from a personal loan Dickert made to his own campaign fund. With the full knowledge and consent of Dickert, the loans were then fraudulently reported by Dickert’s campaign staff on campaign finance reports, as the true identities of the donors were never revealed. The fraudulent loan monies were deposited in the bank account of Dickert’s campaign organization, “The Friends of Dickert.” ”

    This time it will be a Federal Judge in a Federal Court hearing the pleadings – not the local Ethics Board that was appointed by John Dickert, and that chose to sleep through an ethics complaint against John Dickert, before dismissing it.

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