A jury in Milwaukee convicted state purchasing officer Georgia Thompson of bid rigging late yesterday.
The jury concluded that due to political considerations Thompson illegally used her influence to steer a state travel contract to a Wisconsin-based firm, Adelman Travel, whose top executives made large campaign donations to Governor Jim Doyle.
The verdict is vindication for prosecutors in the case. Allies of the governor had charged that the ongoing investigation – led by a Republican appointee and two elected Democrats – is politically motivated and baseless. The federal, state and local law enforcement authorities involved in the investigation have asked the Democracy Campaign for assistance and are using our database of contributors to state campaigns in their probe.
Evidence came to light during the Thompson trial that raises new questions about the role of political appointees within the Doyle administration in the travel contract case. In particular, former Administration Secretary Marc Marotta, who now is Doyle's campaign chairman, told the media in October that he had no contact with Adelman officials while bids were being evaluated. Phone records introduced as evidence in the trial appear to contradict that claim. Those records show phone calls were exchanged between Marotta's office and Adelman travel during the process.