Some are suggesting a consultant in line for a $40,000 contract to rework the city's cable-access TV station worked on Mayor John Dickert's campaign.
A review of Dickert's campaign finance records and interviews with high-level campaign officials suggest Sandy Petrykowski, vice president of the Racine-based Soura Films, had no role in the campaign.
Petrykowski and her husband, Hossam Aboul-Magd, did not donate to Dickert's campaign and neither was a paid member of the campaign staff, according to the finance records.
Two campaign workers who worked closely with Dickert in last year's campaign said in separate interviews that Petrykowski wasn't involved with the campaign. One of the workers is still close with Dickert, but the other has moved on to other jobs and is no longer attached to the mayor.
Both said Aboul-Magd filmed extensive footage of Dickert on the campaign trail for a documentary about the race. None of the footage was used in campaign spots and the documentary has yet to be edited, they said.
"She didn't work on the campaign, she didn't volunteer and she wasn't paid," one of the workers said.
The campaign worker who is no longer close to Dickert said the issue wasn't a matter of the mayor giving a campaign staffer a job. It's a matter of the mayor giving a friend a no-bid city contract worth $40,000.
"That's the real story," the campaign worker said.
City ordinance requires departments to request bids for contracts over $25,000, unless contracts are for "professional services." The CAR25 consultant contract is classified as professional services and is not required to go out for bid.
Alderman Terry McCarthy has asked City Administrator Tom Friedel to review the city's policy on bidding out contracts and to consider dropping the exception for professional services. That review is under way, McCarthy said.