January 14, 2009

Mayor Becker arrested on child pornography charges

Mayor Gary Becker was arrested last night on child pornography charges. Unconfirmed reports say he is also charged with solicitation of a minor.

He's being held in the Kenosha County Jail at the request of the Racine County Sheriff's Department His bond is set at $165,000.

Becker was arrested by the state Department of Criminal Investigation some time late last night. He was transported to the Kenosha County Jail at 2 a.m.

City Council President David Maack told WRJN this morning that he received a call last night from Police Chief Kurt Wahlen telling him Becker had been arrested. Becker was arrested on child pornography charges as part of an ongoing investigation, Maack told WRJN.

Maack said he would meet with City Administrator Ben Hughes and City Attorney Rob Weber about ongoing operation of the city.

According to state election law, a special election is required six weeks after a mayor resigns.

A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. at City Hall.

It's a shocking turn for Racine's top official, who ran unopposed for re-election in 2007.

Becker was a national leader on Great Lakes issues and was actively involved in the US Conference of Mayors. Locally, he's promoted a number of business development programs and has been a booster of Downtown Racine.

Despite some early success, he's taken heat lately for trying to convert Uptown Racine into an artists district. Becker also ran into problems in 2007 with the minority community after he talked about closing or changing the community center.

This isn't Becker's first brush with high-profile controversy. In 2006, former Mayor Jim Smith called then Police Chief David Spenner's cell phone in an attempt to get Becker arrested for drunken driving. Becker was not arrested, but later found out about the call and went public with it.

Earlier this year, Becker had a kidney removed to contain a cancerous tumor. The surgery was successful and he was back at work soon after the operation.


  1. If the charges are proven (with The State Justice Department doing it I think they got him) Maack becomes acting Mayor
    With Becker gone means

    By By Uptown Art Project
    By By City Administrator
    By By Grant Writer

    Can we get Pete Karas or Ron Thomas to run?

  2. What a terrible fall for a mayor that appeared on face value to be ambitious,connected and a guy with a plan.

    Maybe forthcoming coverage will focus on his potential replacement - the potential candidates & their visions for Racine? Come tomorrow, thats the real story.

  3. I really hope there has been some terrible mistake.

  4. Run, Greg, RUN!

  5. This of course calls for a blog radio talk show, something like Colt's Racine

  6. Let's not forget the sexual harrassment charges last year.

  7. I feel bad for Becker's family. But other than that, possibly good riddance! Maybe we can get someone in this town who isn't a massive lefty - someone who knows how to focus on the real problems in this town and do the RIGHT thing in response. Who cared about the uptown project? No one who cares about flourishing business, that's for sure!

  8. I wonder if anyone has taken inventory of the middle drawer of Becker's desk yet? I heard there were some interesting magazines in it.

  9. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Storm-Racine/2009/01/14/Mayor-Becker-of-Racine-WI-Arested-

    At 11:30

  10. What the people of Racine, now, have to do is make sure Maack doesn't undo and reverse the great work Mayor Becker has done and was in the process of doing.

    Organize yourselves and create proactive non-profit art groups to continue to development of a progressive artistic environment. Lobby and protest any measures you are against that Maack may try to do.

    The city isn't ran by a mayor, it's ran by its people unless you allow it to be.

  11. Lots of words in that article, but one letter is conspicuously missing: the "(D)" following his name.

  12. http://www.journaltimes.com/newsrightnow/?idvar=995

    Former Alderman Pete Karas reacts to Becker's arrest.


    good riddance to gary!

  14. Portal - Gary and Greg are two peas in a pod.

  15. ActivistJay:
    How can you even advocate for frivolity like art in a community filled with gang activity, drugs, teen pregnancy, theft, and violence? My God, you lefties are seriously deluded and completely self-centered. Why not try giving a rat's ass for once about something that MATTERS and that will improve the community?

    And whoever suggested Helding? You've got to be kidding! He'd give away the store if someone wasn't watching him. You people need to get a clue! Move to Oregon or somewhere like that if you want to live in la-la land!

  16. "Organize yourselves and create proactive non-profit art groups to continue to development of a progressive artistic environment."

    you're joking RIGHT???

  17. oh noez! ... the first thing I concern myself with when a man is charged with child enticement/pornography etc. is his political affiliation! Good call 11:34 AM Anon! Priorities people!

  18. Helding, Maack, Hughes, and Wahlen are all of Becker's cronies and also need to go! Notice that Wahlen didn't even show up. Where was he and what is he trying to hide now??

  19. Wahlen was there. He stood in the back of the press conference along with several other department heads.

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