MAYOR SCHMUCK: Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt Sentenced For Multiple Campaign Finance Violations Strangely Reduced From Felonies To Misdemeanors, Including Taking Illegal Corporate Donations & Inventing Donors In Failed Cover-Up; Oneida Nation Of Wisconsin-Owned Oneida Seven Generations Corporation/OSGC Among Illegal Donors; UPDATE: Removal Petition Filed; Mayor Knew Finance Probe Of 3 Aldermen Ended But Played Dumb For A Year; Common Council Will Consider ‘Removal Petition’ On February 20, 2017; Judge DENIES Lyin’ Schmuck’s Request To Prohibit Removal Hearing; City Council Fails To Remove Schmitt-pile By 1 Vote; Citizens’ Recall Petition Expected To Be Filed Soon

02/20/2017 LATE UPDATE:

The City Council found there was cause to remove Schmitt from office, but Alderman Randy Scannell’s decision not to back Schmitt’s removal kept him in office.

The council voted 9-3 to find there was cause to remove Schmitt after a tense, hourlong hearing and close to three hours of closed session deliberations.

But Scannell’s decision not to support removing Schmitt deprived the council of the nine votes needed to remove Schmitt from office. …

“To vote no on this would be to tell people that you tolerate some corruption in our election process. In the context of how local government operates, there’s nothing more important than elections,” Alderman Tom Sladek said. 

The hearing focused on resident Scott Vanidestine’s petition that Schmitt should be removed from office because he pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor campaign finance violations.

“The enormity of the evidence shows Mayor Jim Schmitt’s intent to deceive (the public) and he should be removed from office,” Vanidestine said. “This has eroded trust in the mayor. I don’t trust him anymore. I wouldn’t do business with the city anymore. I do not believe he can lead our city.”


“I’m Mayor Sssschmitt. Welcome to Green Bay! Wanna do businessss? Trusssst me!”


The Green Bay City Council fell one vote short of removing Mayor Jim Schmitt from office. The council voted 8-4 to remove him but state law required nine votes — a three-quarters majority. The vote came at 11:13 p.m., after more than four hours of arguments and deliberations.

“It’s a sad day for the City of Green Bay when you have two thirds of the council that absolutely doesn’t share confidence in the Mayor, and I think well over half the public,” [Alderman Guy] Zima said. “How can we face the public and say the standards we set for the mayor are lower than the standards we set for every other employee in the City of Green Bay?”
















Additional information regarding this meeting can be found online:


Quasi-Judicial Hearing on petition for removal of Mayor James J. Schmitt from the Office of Mayor.

02/20/2017 UPDATE:

Violating campaign laws as an incumbent attempting to retain an office, however, cannot always be viewed as unconnected to the incumbent’s actions as an elected official. When the violations indicate some merging of the official’s role as candidate with his role as incumbent elected official, the requisite connection to satisfy the cause requirement of [state statute] could be found. The Common Council has alleged, for example, that in the course of violating campaign finance laws, Schmitt used his official position as Mayor to direct the City Clerk to conduct an audit of his campaign finance reports, thus merging his acts as mayor with his acts as a candidate. As a result, the Common Council has shown that it is proceeding on alleged wrongs connected to Schmitt’s actions as Mayor. 

Under the circumstances of this case, the Court does not find grounds to grant the extraordinary remedy of a writ of prohibition. Schmitt retains the alternative remedy of certiotari review if the Common Council votes to remove him on grounds without a sufficient connection to his capacity as mayor. Therefore, the Court finds that a writ of prohibition is not appropriate.


Schmitt’s Petition for a Writ of Prhohibition is DENIED. Schmitt is not entitled to an award of his costs and disbursements.


“The implied premise that he stopped being mayor and was no longer bound by the associated duties and roles … is sleight of hand,” [the Common Council’s attorney Jeremy] Levinson wrote. “He remained the mayor, a public official. When he opted to commit campaign finance crimes to keep his office and to file fraudulent records with the city clerk, he was both an incumbent candidate and the mayor.”

Schmitt’s petition also claimed holding the hearing would cause him substantial legal expenses, great political harm and public embarrassment.

In his response, Levinson argued Schmitt cannot be harmed by public scrutiny since he chose a career in politics.

“Scrutiny comes with the job,” Levinson argued.


You’ve gone way too far this time, Lyin’ Sack o’ Schmitt…

02/16/2017 UPDATE:

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) – Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt lashed out at a trio of city council members during a recent Political Radar podcast, eluding that some aldermen may be dealing with mental health problems or broken home lives.

“If I hammer someone down and they speak over me or they make these, just terrible comments like a punk kid would on a playground, I just can’t believe he says those kinds of things,” Schmitt said. “But then sometimes I write it off to mental health cause I hear he’s got, you know, some of these guys have some issues, and then if you look at their personal lives, their broken…and not that I feel sorry for them, but that gives me a little bit of a framework and that’s how I can deal with it.”



About ‘broken home lives’… Mayor Schmuck,











Part of them highlight two December 2013 donations, listed on receipts from the initials C S. Landgraf, the prosecutor, says the dates are consistent with a corporate contribution from Cantilever Studios, LLC, of Suamico. But an amended report filed in January of last year lists donations on those dates from Carl Schmitt – the mayor’s brother and a priest in Sturgeon Bay.

Landgraf says “The ‘C S’ amendment is remarkable for several reasons.” He notes a corporate donation would be prohibited by law, and that the amendment was done at at time when Schmitt’s committee was already being publicly criticized.

According to the criminal complaint, Carl Schmitt told investigators he doesn’t remember donating any money to his brother. Rev. Schmitt did not respond to FOX 11’s interview request Monday.



To keep the money and fudge the campaign finance forms is dishonest. In this case, Schmitt accepted two donations from a corporation, Cantilever Studios. On a campaign finance report there were no donations listed from Cantilever Studios, but there were two donations made on the same days for the same amount from “CS.” That report was later amended and Schmitt wrote the name of his brother, “Carl Schmitt,” below “CS.”

Schmitt was willing to falsify reports in an attempt to keep his office. It’s not like he overlooked something or was ignorant of the law. When informed of the mistakes, he tried to mislead the public.

We can’t accept such deceptive behavior from the top city official, who should be held to a higher standard.


02/15/2017 UPDATE:

Schmitt’s lawyer, Patrick Knight, on Wednesday filed a petition asking Brown County Circuit Court Judge Marc Hammer to stop the hearing. …

In January, Council President Tom De Wane and Vice President Mark Steuer hired Milwaukee attorney Jeremy Levinson to guide the council through the removal hearing. On Feb. 7, the council notified Schmitt it would hold the hearing on Feb. 20. …

“He feels we don’t have the right to do this. The attorney we hired says we do,” De Wane said. “I really expect whoever looks at this filing will allow us to go forward.”

The case has been assigned to Outagamie County Judge John DesJardins.

2/14/2016 UPDATE:

Three aldermen [Chris Wery, Tom DeWane, and Andy Nicholson,] are accusing Mayor Jim Schmitt of launching a campaign finance probe against them and then sitting for a year on the news that the probe came up empty. …

Wery said he learned only Friday that Schmitt knew a special prosecutor had discounted Schmitt’s accusations against the aldermen…but the mayor still told the media an investigation was underway. …

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, serving as a special prosecutor in this case, responded in writing in February 2016 saying he would not pursue Schmitt’s accusations. …

But Schmitt still told Press-Gazette Media in April that Landgraf was investigating the aldermen’s campaign finances.

Why, when he was notified there would be no investigation, did he withhold that information?” Wery asked. “Jim Schmitt’s deceitful, dishonest tactics were only meant to damage the aldermen and shift the spotlight off his illegal campaign activity.” …

Landgraf rejected several attempts by Press-Gazette Media over the past year to get an update on the investigations. …

A City Council hearing on whether to remove Schmitt from office is scheduled for [Monday, February 20, 2017].

Wery and the others suggested from the beginning that Schmitt’s accusations were just retaliatory. …

Schmitt acknowledged earlier Tuesday that he received a letter from the special prosecutor indicating he would take no further action on investigating the aldermen.

“Is it my job to share a personal letter?” he asked.


2/13/2016 UPDATE:

…Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt was told a year ago that a campaign finance investigation against three aldermen had been closed but said nothing. Schmitt, in December 2015, requested the investigation after one was launched into his campaign finances. The probe into the Mayor’s finances ultimately led to misdemeanor conviction charges against him.

12/20/2016 UPDATE:

City Council President Tom DeWane will seek an outside attorney to advise the Council in handling a petition to remove Mayor Jim Schmitt from office.

The Council authorized DeWane to begin the search by a vote of 7-5 on Tuesday. Another vote will be required to hire the lawyer DeWane ultimately recommends.

Dewane said he believes outside legal counsel is necessary because City Attorney Vanessa Chavez was appointed by the mayor and therefore has a conflict of interest in the case. …

Schmitt’s criminal defense attorney, Patrick Knight, sent a letter to all 12 Council members last week arguing that they have no legal grounds to remove the mayor from office. He wrote that moving forward with a hearing could be viewed as an act of malice, and he would advise Schmitt to sue the Council if it doesn’t reject Vandestine’s petition outright.

Sladek said Knight’s threat is enough motive for the Council to seek another attorney.

“Because that threat is there, I think its important to have an attorney to advise us, and it would be unfair to ask that of our City Attorney given the position she’s in,” Sladek said.



[Disclosure: Oneida Eye’s Publisher was interviewed by Milwaukee Co. Asst. District Attorney Bruce Landgraf as part of the State’s two year investigation.]


Evidence against uMayor Jim Schmitt showed “intent to deceive” the public and authorities about illegal contributions to his re-election campaign, a judge said Monday while sentencing Schmitt.

Schmitt will pay a $4,000 fine and serve 40 hours of community service for violating state campaign finance laws, Judge Mitchell J. Metropulos ordered.

The 58-year-old mayor pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of making false statements on campaign finance reports, attempting to accept funds from someone other than the reported contributor and attempting to accept funds in excess of the individual contribution limit. …

In addition to the fines and community service, Schmitt’s plea bargain required him to shut down his campaign committee and donate the $23,198 remaining in his campaign account to the Common School Fund. Court records indicate those were completed Sept. 7. …

“You decided you wanted this money, and deposited a number of checks that were over the limit that you shouldn’t have taken in and you reallocated them so you could keep them. Those are serious allegations,” [Judge] Metropulos said. “It shows there was intent to deceive the campaign finance observers and collectors of the records.”

Schmitt accepted more than $11,175 in illegal campaign contributions that exceeded the $1,040 individual limit, according to court records. He also took donations from businesses, which is prohibited under state law. Schmitt then relabeled some of the illegal contributions as coming from the original donors’ family members after some city aldermen complained to the Brown County District Attorney’s Office in January 2015. In one instance, Schmitt wrote that the donation came from an individual who doesn’t exist.

“The crime was the cover-up,” Special Prosecutor Bruce Landgraf said. “Nothing really that I examined was so serious as to warrant criminal charges (except for) Mr. Schmitt’s efforts to hide donations in excess (of the limit) or otherwise illegal contributions from the public by reporting them in the names of noncontributors.” …

Matthew Rothschild, executive director of the campaign finance watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, called the judge’s sentence “ridiculously lenient.

“Until those who flagrantly violate our state’s campaign finance laws get hit with some serious jail time, the incentive to break the law and mess with our elections will only persist. That’s not good for our democracy,” Rothschild wrote in a statement.

Alderman Guy Zima, who has called for Schmitt’s resignation, said he was frustrated that the judge didn’t read 37 additional violations cited by prosecutors into the record during sentencing.





Metropolus sided with the prosecution, agreeing Schmitt tried to cover-up his violations.

“If it was simply a matter of you making honest mistakes, I don’t think you’d be sitting here today,” said Metropolus.


Special prosecutor Bruce Landgraf asked the judge to issue Schmitt $4,000 in fines and 40 hours of community service. 

“He chose to lie and lies are what make this a gravely serious matter,” the prosecution stated. …

Some people feel that sentence is too light considering the crime.

“[The Green Bay City Common] Council must remove him and that probably will be the next step and we’ll let the council decide that,” said Green Bay Alderman, Guy Zima.


People who attended the sentencing hearing including Alderman Guy Zima isn’t buying the Mayor’s claim that he violated these laws unknowingly.

“This was not a naive gentleman that didn’t know what he was doing,” said Zima. ” He only cooperated when he knew he was trapped.”

Some people left the courtroom unhappy that they didn’t get a chance to speak at the hearing and say that this plea agreement sends the wrong message.

“We’ve proven that the citizens have a different set of laws than the ruling class and we did not follow the statutes of Wisconsin,” said Green Bay resident David Vanderleest.

See also:



A Green Bay resident filed a verified petition Thursday afternoon to have Mayor Jim Schmitt removed from office.

Scott Vanidestine filed the petition with the city clerk. Vanidestine is the President of the Wilder Park Neighborhood Association on Green Bay’s east side. …

Wisconsin State Statute 12.60 2 (a), the statute Vanidestine points to in the petition reads ‘if a successful candidate for public office, other than a candidate for the legislature or a candidate for national office, is adjudged guilty in a criminal action of any violation of this chapter under sub, (1) (a) committed during his or her candidacy, the court shall after entering judgement enter a supplemental judgement declaring a forfeiture of the candidate’s right to office.

Lying to an election official is one of the criminal acts listed, which Schmitt was found guilty of on Monday.



Previously on Oneida Eye:


Sorry, Comments are closed.


Abdul Latif Mahjoob / ACTI / AREC / AREI / ARTI ACF Leasing ACF Services Alliance Construction & Design / Alliance GC (Global Conservation) American Combustion Technologies Inc. (ACTI) / American Combustion Technologies of California Inc. (ACTI) / American Renewable Energy Inc. (AREI) / American Renewable Technologies Inc. (ARTI) Artley Skenandore Jr. / Swakweko LLC Atty. William Cornelius Bruce King City of Green Bay Fmr. OBC Chair Cristina Danforth / Tina Danforth Fmr. OBC Chair Ed Delgado Fmr. OBC Sec. Patty Hoeft Fmr. OBC Vice-Chair Greg Matson Fmr. OBC Vice-Chair Melinda Danforth General Tribal Council / GTC Generation Clean Fuels Godfrey & Kahn Green Bay Renewable Energy LLC / GBRE Green Box NA Green Bay LLC Incinerators / Gasification / Pyrolysis / Plastics-to-Oil / Waste-to-Energy Jacqueline Zalim / Jackie Zalim Kelly Van Den Heuvel / Kelly Yessman Kevin Cornelius Mike Metoxen Mission Support Services Nevada LLC / Mission Support Services LLC Nathan King Nature's Way Tissue Corp. OBC Chief Counsel Jo Anne House OBC Vice-Chair Brandon Lee Stevens / Brandon Yellowbird Stevens Oneida Business Committee / OBC Oneida Energy Blocker Corp. Oneida Energy Inc. Oneida ESC Group LLC / OESC Oneida Nation of Wisconsin / Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin / Indian Country / Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Oneida Seven Generations Corporation / OSGC Oneida Total Integrated Enterprises / OTIE OPD Lt. Lisa Drew-Skenandore Owen Somers / Oneida Internal Security Director Paul Linzmeyer Pete King III / King Solutions LLC Ron Van Den Heuvel Sustainment & Restoration Services LLC Todd Van Den Heuvel Tsyosha?aht Cathy Delgado Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation / WEDC

As It Happens

December 2016
« Nov   Feb »