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Tuesday, May 29, 2007 

The Continuing McGee Drama

Well, Alderman Michael McGee Jr. was arrested last night on public corruption charges. Color me shocked. Here's the story...
McGee is under investigation on potential public corruption charges, according to sources familiar with the probe, which has been placed under seal. Further details are expected to be announced today during a joint news conference by U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

It was unclear late Monday where and under what circumstances McGee was arrested, but sources said the arrest was made earlier than planned because investigators suspected the potential for violence
And an interesting update...
Court documents related to the arrest of Ald. Michael McGee remain under seal and are not expected to be released for several days, Milwaukee Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said this morning.

Lovern would not say why the documents are under seal, but said state law requires that they be sealed and there is a specific process that must occur before they are released.

"We understand the public wants to know, has a right to know and will know, but there is a protocol that we have to follow in accordance with Wisconsin law that says how and when this information will be disseminated to the public," Lovern said.
And how about a leak for good measure...
Ald. Michael McGee is expected to be charged by federal prosecutors with soliciting a bribe, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The source, who asked not be named because the case remains under seal, said McGee could face additional federal charges as well as state charges of threatening violence. Whether the soliciting charge would come today, or would follow other charges, is unclear, given he's being held on a state charge.
The news conference is in about 15 minutes. I'm not sure how much information that the DA and USA will give us, especially if the case is under seal. This is going to be an interesting Summer.

EDIT: Here is the federal criminal complaint, courtesy of Prof. McAdams. It's quite a read.

And color me shocked when he walks (rightly or not). I know very little about this guy save for some choice phrases from my Dad over the years but I'll be interested to see where this goes.

Keep me updated.


Based on the criminal complaint (I'll add a link to it in the post) and based on the fact that Biskupic has even more evidence, I think that they've finally nailed McGee. If you are dumb enough to talk about bribes on your cell phone, you deserve to go to federal prison. This seems like a case of a guy who has gotten away with everything his entire life, who pushed and pushed and finally went too far.

The solicitation to commit a felony/substantial battery state charge is where this really gets interesting. Was he hiring goons too? How very Al Capone.

Biskupic and Chisholm are not careless guys. They know that any case brought against a McGee would have to be based on the most solid evidence possible. If the stuff in the criminal complaint is just the beginning of the federal case, then that's a good sign for the public (and a bad sign for McGee).

I do agree with Rick Esenberg's post regarding the speed of this case. The DA needs to get its evidence public ASAP. Make it absolutely clear to every reasonable person that the case against McGee is iron clad. Hopefully, that keeps the Summer "interesting" good, not "interesting" bad.

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