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Lawyer says ex-Milwaukee schools official will plead guiltySubmitted: 04/13/2019
Lawyer says ex-Milwaukee schools official will plead guilty
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - The lawyer for the former president of the Milwaukee Public Schools board of directors says his client will plead guilty in an alleged bribery scheme.

Michael Bonds is charged in federal court in Philadelphia with of bribery and conspiracy. He allegedly accepted kickbacks from executives Philadelphia-based Universal Companies, which operated several charter schools, including three in Milwaukee. In return, authorities say, the company received favorable votes between 2014 and 2016.

Milwaukee attorney Franklyn Gimbel tells the Journal Sentinel that he and Bonds have been meeting with federal prosecutors since last summer.


Court documents show that executives used fake invoices to make payments totaling $6,000 to African-American Books and Gifts, a company purportedly created by Bonds. The complaint says Bonds received "things of value," but it is not specific.

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VILAS COUNTY - UPDATE 7/18/2019

An earlier version of this report conflated the two criminal complaints filed against contractor Gerald Stodola.

The first complaint filed February 14, concerns Stodola and a homeowner who alleges Stodola failed to inform the homeowner of a delay in construction. The first complaint also alleges theft by contractor.

The second complaint also filed February 14, concerns Stodola and the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce, whose leaders also allege theft by contractor. They believe Stodola used money meant for a new chamber building for other purposes.

The defense argued in both cases that the plaintiffs, both represented by the Asst. District Attorney, did not show probable cause in their complaints.

Judge Neal Nielsen rejected the defenses motion to dismiss the first complaint, saying the fact that Stodola did not finish the job he was hired to do was evidence enough to show probable cause.

Nielsen rejected the defenses motion to dismiss the second complaint because Stodla himself mentioned using funds for the St. Germain project for something else. Nielsen believed that showed probable cause.

Preliminary hearings for both cases are set for September 18, 2019.
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ORIGINAL STORY 7/17/2019
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