January 19, 2009

Chief Wahlen's formal complaint to City Council
sets Becker removal process into action

A day of furious activity relating to Mayor Gary Becker culminated at 4:30 p.m. when Police Chief Kurt Wahlen -- kinda, sorta acting merely as a resident of Racine rather than as Police Chief -- formally asked the City Council to remove Becker from office.

Wahlen's letter, handed to City Clerk Janice Johnson-Martin, will go to the Council's Executive Committee, which meets Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to decide the city's next step, in the absence of Becker's resignation following his arrest last week on child porn and child sexual enticement charges.


The Executive Committee, comprised of five council members -- Sandy Weidner, QA Shakoor II, Tom Friedel, Greg Helding and Council President and Acting Mayor David Maack, as well as the Mayor (who isn't expected to attend) -- will then recommend action to the full council.

Tomorrow's meetings of the Executive Committee and the City Council, promise to draw a crowd from the media. City Administrator Ben Hughes said he expects "a significant number of citizens and individuals attending both," and has arranged extra seating and both an audio and video feed in the City Hall conference area in Room 209 to accommodate the public.

Monday began with Maack noting that no formal complaint against the Mayor had been received over the weekend, something necessary to start the removal process. Later, the city received a legal opinion from Deputy City Attorney Scott Letteney, clarifying that the complaint had to be from a city resident and taxpayer who had "personal knowledge" of the charges against the Mayor relating to his performance in office.

Bingo! Who better than the Police Chief -- who was appointed to the post by Becker himself in 2006, jumping some more senior officers -- who had taken custody earlier this month of the CD made from Becker's computer by an IT technician in August 2007 and of the Mayor's office computer last week.

The City issued the following notice late today:
At approximately 4:30 P.M. today, Police Chief Kurt Wahlen (acting in his capacity as a private citizen) delivered formal charges to the Racine City Clerk requesting that the Racine City Council initiate the removal from office proceedings for Mayor Gary Becker. These documents shall be received and discussed at the Executive Committee meeting scheduled to occur on Tuesday, January 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Has it really been less than a week since this nightmare began? Yes.

17 comments:

  1. Way to go Chief Wahlen!!!

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  2. Will Helding or Maack say anything on Tuesday about the money they received from fine the Garry Becker?
    Might we be able to ask now that they know he is a sick man will they
    give the money back?

    All kinds of fun information at the City Clerk's office!

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  3. Will this be broadcast live on the Racine channel on cable TV?

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  4. downtown_racine1/19/2009 7:13 PM

    I can't believe the man does not have enough common sense to resign.

    It's uncommon sense now~em~days as it seems to be a fleeting trait.

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  5. Alderman David Maack1/19/2009 7:49 PM

    Although no complaint had been received over the weekend, I had been in contact with Chief Wahlen who idicated that he would be willing to submit the letter as a resident taxpayer.

    The Executive Committee will be televised. However it will not be aired live.

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  6. The Police and Fire Commission appointed Chief Wahlen to the Chief of Police position. Becker didn't appoint him. Chief Wahlen isn't one of Becker's people. If some of you think he is - you couldn't be more wrong. Not sure why some of you continue to go there. Thanks Chief for bringing the formal complaint to the City Clerk. Let's hope we get someone from the outside to be the new Mayor - not one of the aldermen. We need a clean slate.

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  7. Why wouldn't one of our aldermen submit a formal complaint? Thought you were leaders? I agree, we don't need one of the aldermen to be the new Mayor. We do need someone from the outside. Bet you money we'll be seeing the aldermen be yes men to the new Mayor just like they were to Becker.

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  8. Mr. Maack: You (as a council) need to seriously re-evaluate the need for a "city administrator". I am told that the council has the power to "fire" (so to speak) Hughes?? Is this true? If so, let the firing begin and then you will see true support from the hard working tax paying citizens of this fine community. That position (created by Becker) is quite obviously a waste of 100K a year. Thank you.

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  9. Anonymous 8:42 - very well said. To all of the Common Council: The Administrative and Department Managers of the City of Racine know how to do their jobs. We don't need a City Administrator. Get a qualified, moral Mayor that does his job and let the department heads run their departments. Also, rethink this MIS botched deal that you agreed with the Mayor on. Time to get your heads out of "you know where" and start making some smart and wise decisions. If you can't then to run for aldermen again. Not only is Becker a huge disappoint to the City, but so are the aldermen.

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  10. Hope they take a look at the guy who kept the CD of the mayors pc for 18 months before the chief made him turn it over. Doesnt seem he should be working for the city anymore. If it was legal it sure wasnt right.

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  11. Red Rosa, what money, for what? Let us know! The guy is NOT working for the city any more either. They were replaced by an outside firm a year? ago.

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  12. I'm assuming Red Rosa means these aldermen might have received money for their campaigns from Mayor Becker.

    And as for the IT guy that had the CD, he transferred into another job at city hall in a different department so he is still a city hall employee. I understand though not wanting to possibly get fired and keeping quiet. Not saying it's right, just saying I understand what a difficult position he must have been in.

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  13. I'm glad to be able to see this on Ch.25 I think they do not broadcast live but you can see it the next day and everyday after that. Should be some entertaining television.

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  14. BTW, Some kid from city hall in the IT department and Burdick who now works for DPW, and used to be in IT are both responsible for content on Beckers computer...both still work at the City. Both should be heavily investigated as well.

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  15. Just wondering...has a mayor in Racine EVER been removed from office before?

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  16. Just wondering...has a mayor in Racine EVER been removed from office before?

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  17. Yes I am talking about from Becker's campaign to theirs (Helding Maack) . Should they not give it back or ate they still good lap dogs?

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