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Wisconsin & Southern president charged with illegal contributions to Walker camp

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« on: April 12, 2011, 01:08:11 pm »

Wisconsin & Southern president charged with illegal contributions to Walker campaign

Wisconsin & Southern president charged with illegal contributions to Walker campaign
STEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times | selbow@madison.com madison.com | (5) Comments | Posted: Monday, April 11, 2011 11:00 am





Bill Gardner, president and CEO of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, said stimulus money to improve freight rail lines would help create jobs in the state. Photo by Mike DeVries/The Capital Times
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Washington County prosecutors have charged Wisconsin & Southern Railroad president William Gardner with two felony counts for making illegal campaign contributions to Gov. Scott Walker as he mounted his successful campaign for governor.
A criminal complaint filed today in circuit court alleges that Gardner, 63, exceeded the state's $10,000 limit for a gubernatorial candidate and asked employees to contribute to Walker's campaign, then reimbursed them in order to skirt the financial limits on campaign contributions.
In May, 2010, Walker returned to Gardner more than $40,000 in campaign donations, the complaint says. That transaction took place around the time the state Government Accountability Board initiated its investigation of Gardner's campaign funding activities.
The criminal complaint alleges that Gardner solicited several employees to contribute $5,000 to the Friends of Scott Walker campaign, then reimbursed those employees for the donations.
Prosecutors and Government Accountability officials are expected to comment on the charges at a press conference this afternoon.
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