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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Law - More on: Injustice in Wisconsin, bad enough to shock 7th Circuit panel

Updating this ILB entry from Monday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today in a story that begins:

Madison - Former state purchasing supervisor Georgia Thompson - freed from prison last week after being acquitted by a federal appeals court - will likely return to a government job by the end of the month.

Pat Henderson, the executive assistant for the state Department of Administration, said Thompson told officials through her attorney, Stephen Hurley, that she wanted to take a job in the same division by the end of April.

"She said she would like to come back," Henderson said. "She wants to get her life back to normal as quickly as possible."

She would receive about $68,000 in back wages with her first paycheck, Henderson said. The administration is also exploring ways to pay her for her six-figure legal defense bill, but paying that would likely require her to go through the state Claims Board and the Legislature, he said.

Veteran defense lawyers have estimated her legal bill at $250,000 to $400,000. Hurley could not be reached Monday.

A jury convicted Thompson in June of two felonies that accused her of defrauding the state by steering a contract to Adelman Travel Group. Around the time of the deal, two Adelman officials gave Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's re-election campaign $10,000 each, the most allowed under the law.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ordered her freed Thursday, just hours after the three-judge panel heard oral arguments in her case. One appeals judge called the evidence against Thompson "beyond thin."

Thompson, 57, spent about four months in a federal prison in Pekin, Ill.

She retired from her $77,300-a-year job days after she was convicted. Henderson said there were three or four jobs at the same level within the Division of Enterprise Operations that she could take.

Thompson will be allowed to return to the state retirement system without a penalty, Henderson said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 11, 2007 11:10 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions