Should the Mayor hire a criminal defense lawyer

So I get this email

Feds likely already on the Racine liquor licensing case

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

March 3, 2014

When reputable lawyers sue Racine city officials, tavern league members and a downtown business development group claiming they conspired to run minority bar owners out of business, there are going to be questions.

One of the first from many people who heard about the case’s claims was “Are prosecutors on this?”

Oddly for this sort of blockbuster suit, the lawyers weren’t saying much (perhaps letting a recently screened documentary film tell the plaintiffs’ version) But from a series of “can’t comments,” suggest some government authorities, like the federal Department of Justice, are indeed looking hard at liquor license regulation in Racine, and maybe some campaign finances too.

The lawsuit portrays a racially biased effort by white business owners and downtown Racine boosters to force out the minority tavern owners, or even white tavern owners if their bars attract mostly minority customers. Specifically, it accuses Mayor John Dickert of accepting bribes from those concerns and then using the city’s regulatory and police functions to accomplish that goal. It claims excessive contributions to Dickert’s mayoral campaigns went either unreported or were laundered through his private bank accounts and reported as personal loans to his campaign.

Pretty serious stuff, right? Stuff someone would flag to prosecutors or the FBI?

Racine DA Rich Chiapete said he’s gotten no referrals about anything related to the lawsuit’s claims. The only John Doe proceedings in Racine last year were sought by state prisoners. There is one open John Doe proceeding this year, but all records concering it are sealed.

The state Department of Justice said it’s not involved. Milwaukee U.S. Attorney James Santell’s office offered this: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has no comment at this time regarding the recently filed law suit alleging discrimination in Racine.”

Maybe the Civil Rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. is reviewing what’s going on in Racine? “We are declining to comment,” said spokeswoman Dena Iverson.

Martin Kohler, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, said the lawyers investigated the case for eight months. He wouldn’t say if they brought their findings to prosecutors’ attention.

Vincent Bobot, a Milwaukee lawyer who represented two of the plaintiffs during their earlier battles with Racine over their liquor licenses, also had little to say when asked about any interest from outside law enforcement.

“I can’t answer that. I’m not at liberty to say,” Bobot said. “You can take from that what you will.”

Bobot did say that he has warned Racine officials repeatedly that the way they were handling liquor licenses was wrong and unlawful. “I told the coucil ‘you’ll get sued and it will cost the city tons of money Dont’ do it.'”

“The facts are only going to get worse for the city of Racine when it goes to depositions,” Bobot predicted. “It’s alarming.”….”

Wow now I have heard that “Others” have talked to the Feds from HUD to Treasury about Racine and the Games the “Others” say are going on.

Then too, I have been told that The FBI is looking into Racine and other strange stories, I am sure you have too, after all this is Racine.

What if the above story from the J-S is on the mark? What then?

Would we know if the Mayor of Racine was talking to the FBI or Department of Treasury or maybe if his Campaign manager or other past staff members were?

If we did know what might that mean? Please note that we are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. How effective would John Dickert be as Mayor?

Then we have his pals, who might flip? After all a 6*10 Cell is small.

Does anyone know any more what might be going on?

Then we have Gary Becker, IMHO I think he has stories to tell and maybe just maybe a deal could be worked out, you never know, do you?

One Response to Should the Mayor hire a criminal defense lawyer

  1. Lizzy Borden says:

    “Should the Mayor hire a criminal defense lawyer”

    Of courser not. The alleged campaign contribution violations would have been performed while acting as “John Dickert”, and if he acted outside the bounds of his authority and illegally, that too would be as “John Dickert”.

    It is the People of Racine who need to hire a Lawyer to stop being punished for the criminal actions of a few ethically challenged persons in government.

    And why would local or County government officials be aware of any criminal investigations? I would contend that they are involved and covering up the crimes. It has been going on for a long time. It’s not just Racine that’s corrupt, it involves the County also.

    That’s why the County Executive is on the DRC Board, that means he is also a Defendant. He made decisions and was involved in Downtown operations. What? He was completely unaware of what was going on? How many times was he and the Treasurer made aware of the situation with Downtown property taxes? They know. The DA admitted he knew of illegal gambling operations – and was even mentioned in an article concerning an illegal gambling operation being run by RCTL member Chuck Beth. Monte Osterman is on the Board – there was plenty of contact and talk going on.

    There will be many more people ensnared in this before it is done and over.

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