Jul 15, 2016

Wisconsin Judge Says He Fears Republican Retaliation, Gives Republican Donor Probation on Fraud Charges

Former Ready Mix Concrete executive and Republican campaign
donor, Todd Schaller, gets off on probation after unlawfully collecting
some $100,000 in his public assistance fraud scheme.
Data from National Institute on Money in State Politics
In Wisconsin, it's not just citizens concerned about what Scott Walker and Republicans will do next.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Conen said he's concerned too.

Conen handed down a suspended sentence this week to Republican campaign donor, Todd Schaller.

Judge Conen said he's concerned the former Ready Mix Concrete executive and Republican campaign donor, Schaller, should not serve time for unlawfully collecting some $100,000 in his and partner's public assistance fraud scheme.

Specifically, Conen said he does not wish to "[fuel] the fire" of critics, [in Wisconsin these critics are Republican], who would cut state food and health benefits, (Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Schaller has given $1,000s in campaign donations to Republicans, according to data obtained from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Reports Bruce Vielmetti of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

A Whitefish Bay couple who collected nearly $100,000 in state food and health care benefits while one of them earned a six-figure salary and their stylish home was featured in the newspaper, avoided jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to public assistance fraud.

Todd Schaller and Mary Carini-Gallagher, both 52, were charged last year with multiple felonies, accused of conspiring to obtain some $115,000 in food share and health care benefits over several years by not informing the state about Schaller's income or the fact they lived in the same household.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Conen suspended 12-month jail sentences for both defendants, meaning they could serve time if they fail terms of probation.

Conen said he didn't really expect either defendant to reoffend, but stressed that the public perception of their crime — of a family living in a nice neighborhood scamming the help intended for the truly needy — "just fuels the fire" of critics who would cut such benefits to everyone.

'That's the real damage to the community,' he said.

It could be argued other damage inflicted onto the community is Conen's conditioning his judicial actions on his political analysis of what unidentified "critics" will do.

I mean why not just state the critics are Republicans, dominating Wisconsin state government. Do it for the community's sake.

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