Fraud who leads the Milwaukee County Board wants to let other fraudsters off the hook

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Lee Holloway, Chairman of the Milwaukee County Board, has a wonderful idea: Let’s let an organization that defrauded taxpayers off the hook, to the tune of about $50,000.

Now… We really need to put this in perspective first. Lee Holloway is a complete fraud.

In addition to being a massive slumlord, Holloway was investigated in 2006 on 90 ethics charges, many of them coming out of his cozy relationship with fraudulent organization Opportunities Industrial Center. The organization paid Holloway over $165,000 for “rent” of a building that was never occupied or used in any way by them.

Holloway tried to get the ethics investigation into him dropped by cutting off the funding for it, but he eventually admitted ethics violations and paid a small fine. Holloway is an embarassment to the community, and is known for using his power in questionable ways.

His latest quest is to have Career Youth Development absolved of almost $50,000 it still owes the county from a fraud case that’s over ten years old. CYD runs programs for troubled kids. In 1998 it was found that over $150,000 of county money was spent by CYD without any records to prove where the money went. Technically, the agency didn’t get accused of fraud, but realistically, I think the chances the county’s money was spent improperly are high.

CYD’s contracts with the county were (rightfully) canceled, and the agency was ordered to repay $150,000. The same year, CYD was tagged with a bill to repay money to Milwaukee Public Schools for improper spending of their money too. Then CYD got tagged with another bill to repay $103,000 for additional funds that were spent improperly. The agency entered into an agreement to repay the county over five years, but quit paying after just one year.

In 2006, CYD was again permitted to do business with the county. But even though CYD was paid $553,000 in 2007 by the county, the agency didn’t repay the money owed.

Here’s the best part: The organization already had $22,000 of its debt written off in 2006. That means that over the last ten years, CYD has paid back only about $181,000, or $18,100 a year. And the county should write off almost $50,000? No way!

Let’s have some accountability. This agency seems to have had a recurring problem spending money the way it was intended and keeping proper records. They’ve had ten years to pay off what they owe. They should not be rewarded for their bad behavior with a $50,000 gift in addition to the $22,000 gift they received a couple of years ago.

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