Madison Alder Sara Eskrich Has $8,000 Legal Bill Paid For By Madison Taxpayers

Without a whimper or even a bat of the eye from the Madison City Council, Alderwomen Sara Eskrich had $8,524 of legal bills paid for during their most recent meeting.  The issue causing Eskrich to need the services of Quarles and Brady at the cost of $400 per hour was due to a claim that she inappropriately used her city position to assist her husband’s company in securing city approval to open a beer garden in Olbrich Park.

Janet Etnier filed the complaint against Eskrich.  The alderwoman’s husband, Erik Kesting, is a co-owner of a group who was central to the beer garden.  The proposal passed the city council in February.  Madison’s Ethics Board dismissed the complaint.

Why this makes for an interesting blog post is that the same council only weeks before gnashed teeth and almost did head-stands in trying to find any avenue possible to not pay the legal bills for Police Chief Mike Koval.  Hours of talking and pulling of hair late into the night for those bills, but a simple consent agenda was the only requirement when it came to one of their own who needed bills paid.

Adding to the irksome factor is the name of Alder Marsha Rummel being second in line for sponsorship of the Eskrich matter.  In the Finance Committee Rummel made the motion for paying the bills and moving the matter to the full council.  Though Rummel supported the final vote for paying the legal bills for Koval, she was also attempting to find ways to not have to make the vote to aid the Chief.

As for Eskrich one does have to wonder why she sought out the best legal team which will then be paid for by taxpayers?  I do not ask this as a snarky comment about what she did, or did not do, in regards to the beer garden. No, dear readers, I simply ask the question based on her past actions that she claimed were for the benefit of those who pay the bills in the city.

Last November Eskrich landed a punch to common-sense when she proposed during the budget process an amendment to undo the Downtown infrastructure projects such as surveillance cameras, streetscaping, and street repaving.   Those projects would have been paid from TIF district funding.    She tried to make it sound as if tax payers were coming out on the short end of the deal by having TIF dollars used for those needed projects.

I wish Eskrich had been as thrifty-minded when thinking about lawyers as when she was thinking about surveillance cameras for public safety.  

I trust when she had consultations with her lawyers they at least offered her a coffee. Or should that have been a beer?

2 thoughts on “Madison Alder Sara Eskrich Has $8,000 Legal Bill Paid For By Madison Taxpayers

  1. Paul Gibler

    Snarky and unnecessary post in my humble beer drinking opinion. Proud supporter of the Biergarten, who went to a couple of meetings where the concept was trashed by people like Etnier for no reasonable reason at all.

  2. The post was not about the beer garden. Rather the post was about the way the council operates. Citizens have a right to know the actions of those they elect and who are there to serve them. That was the point of this post.

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