MILWAUKEE -- The lawyer for Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas says Thomas has done nothing wrong, but some want Thomas stripped of his powers after he was charged with accepting a bribe after an undercover investigation.
Thomas is accused of taking $500 from a top Milwaukee County official in exchange for pushing a contract through the Milwaukee County Board. The money handed over was part of an undercover sting operation.
County Supervisor Joe Rice says Thomas should be removed as the chair of the powerful Finance and Audit Committee. "He's entitled certainly to a presumption of innocence, but I think the public people of Milwaukee County are entitled to a presumption of integrity," Rice said.
An investigation began in late 2011 after a County official became suspicious of how the supervisor was conducting business. According to the criminal complaint, in December while wearing a wire tap, the County official met with Thomas about a contract that had been held up. The complaint says the official slipped Thomas $500, and the contract was pushed through the following day.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says a sting operation is not entrapment. "Entrapment is an affirmative defense. There is no reasonable explanation for taking 500 dollars under these circumstances, but all of that will be litigated in court," Chisholm said.
Thomas has suspended his campaign for city comptroller, but remains on the job as County supervisor. He is due in court on Wednesday, February 8th and faces more than nine years in prison if convicted.