In 2009, then County Executive Scott Walker illegally ordered county employees to take furlough days, with some being forced to take as many as 26 days of furlough. Along with the fact that there was no deficit as Walker claimed, his orders exceeded his authority and were in violation of a previous arbitration ruling.
The County appealed this ruling many times and each time they lost. The most notable of these appeals is the one that appeared before the Honorable Ralph Adam Fine whose ruling pretty much cinched that the county would not win this fight.
Walker, with the support of the Tea Party faction of the County Board, continued headlong with his illegal activities. Eventually, the case landed in front of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) who ordered the county to cease and desist with bad faith bargaining and to make the wronged county workers whole, with the very high interest rate of 12% compounded daily.
The unions tried to negotiate a contract with the county which would have helped alleviate the burden on the taxpayers, but Supervisors Lee Holloway and Joe Sanfelippo conspired to prevent this from happening.
This led to a whole new series of appeals by the county, again losing each and every one of them. The most recent loss came in a circuit court hearing last month.
Now the cost is nearly doubled that of the original finding from almost a year ago, due to the high interest being accumulated.
Yet despite this ballooning cost and the long history of losses, Sanfelippo, the part-time supervisor who thinks his business is more important that the business of the people, wants to appeal this decision yet again.
Unbelievably, his hypocritical rationale for this is because the county can’t afford it. Perhaps Sanfelippo should have thought of that a year or more ago when he refused to negotiate a cost saving agreement with the unions. But even while he claims the county can’t afford to pay the workers the money the court ordered due to them, he is able to collect his full salary and benefits even though he is rarely in his office. Furthermore, he is able to willfully vote for rate increases that the county pays his taxi cab company.
If one wants to know why the county is in such dire fiscal straits, they need to go no further than the likes of Walker and Sanfelippo and their corrupt ways.
And to answer the question of how to pay for this, we repeat our suggestion from a year and a half ago. The county needs to look into pursuing a lawsuit against Scott Walker’s campaign, for the furloughs were nothing more than a campaign stunt to help get him elected. This fact has been further bolstered by recently surfaced emails from Cindy Archer, Walker’s top aide, to his campaign in which she discusses how to handle the court’s ruling.
It is beyond time that the county starts to seek to recoup the losses that Walker had caused over the years of his unethical administration.