Jury finds Johnny Thomas not guilty of bribery, misconduct
MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County jury of ten women and two men found former Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas not guilty of bribery and misconduct in office Friday, August 24th.
Thomas was accused of accepting a $500 bribe on December 2, 2011 in order to put a contract on the agenda for the financial committee he chaired. That meeting took place in a Dunkin’ Donuts. Unbeknownst to Thomas, Milwaukee County’s Director of Administrative Services, Patrick Farley was recording the whole thing.
Closing arguments took just over an hour with both sides using their time to recap their case, and chastise the other side. The prosecution believed Tomas knew full well that he was accepting a bribe in December. However Thomas defense argued it was a matter of proving intent of which they say only one person had.
The jury took just over an hour to reach a guilty verdict. One of the jurors spoke with FOX6 News saying the jury's decision did not take much discussion. In fact, a few of them were almost angry that the case was even brought to trial.
Thomas' attorney reacted to the verdict saying, "Mr. Thomas is very relieved by the jury's verdict. He's insisted on his innocence all along, and this very very short verdict is a statement about that."
Thomas could have faced up to six years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The misconduct in office charge had carried a maximum three-and-a-half years in prison and $10,000 fine.
District Attorney John Chisholm reacted to the verdict saying they respect the jury's decision, and his office would not have done anything differently.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.