January 20, 2009

Chief Wahlen's letter asking Becker's removal

Below is the text of Police Chief Kurt Wahlen's letter to the Racine City Clerk -- but ultimately to the City Council -- asking for the removal of Mayor Gary Becker from office. Below that is a link to a PDF file of both the letter and the Chief's formal charges supporting his request. The Council meets tonight to act upon it.

Ms. Janice Johnson-Martin
City Clerk
730 Washington Avenue
Racine, WI 53403

Dear Ms. Johnson-Martin:

Re: Charges against Mayor Gary Becker

Recent revelations concerning activities of Mayor Gary Becker have prompted City officials to investigate the process by which Mayor Becker can properly be removed from office. They have determined that the process for his removal requires a formal complaint from a citizen within our community. I believe that I am best suited to draft and provide you with this complaint as I am a resident, property owner, and taxpayer within the City of Racine; and, as Chief of Police, I have personal knowledge of the criminal investigation that led to Mayor Becker's arrest.

The attached verified Charges contain a brief history of the criminal investigation pertaining to Mayor Becker's illicit activities which, in my opinion, readily constitute official misconduct sufficient to remove Mayor Becker from office. With the filing of these Charges, I request that the city Council immediately begin proceedings to remove Mayor Becker from office. Although the Council is not in a position to debate Mayor Becker's guilt or innocence on a number of felony criminal charges derived from his activities, the Council is in the position to determine if Mayor Gary Becker's behavior rises to the level of "official misconduct" based upon my charges.

Please note that the criminal charges as described in the Criminal Complaint against Mayor Becker are substantial. Therefore, the current focus of his attention, and the focus of his attention for many months ahead, will be on his legal defense and not on the duties and responsibilities associated with the Office of Mayor for the City of Racine. This community needs a full-time Mayor who is attentive to the demands of the office, rather than his personal legal defense.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the removal of Gary Becker from the office of Mayor will move the discussion within our community from the blight of this incident to one concerning who is in the best position to lead our community into the future. The sooner this takes place, the sooner our community can heal and move forward. Our community is experiencing difficult times; unemployment is high, crime is on the increase, and this incident has eroded public confidence in its leaders. I, therefore, request that the Council act with haste to remove Mayor Becker from office so that we can rebuilt public confidence and meet these trying times head on.

Kurt S. Wahlen
Chief of Police

And here's the PDF file with the complete letter and three-page charge.


  1. Thank God we have Kurt Wahlen as one of our leaders.

  2. Thank you, Chief Wahlen, for your leadership.