- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014
Justice Department IDs ousted investigators

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Justice Department has released the names of two investigators who lost their jobs after they let child pornography cases languish for months.

Agency officials identified the investigators on Wednesday as Milwaukee Special Agent-In-Charge Willie Brantley and former Milwaukee Special Agent Anna King.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has said they were responsible for delays in cases that allowed one suspected child pornography distributor time to allegedly molest an 11-year-old boy and weakened a case against another.

The agents left the agency on March 19. DOJ officials aren’t saying whether they were fired or resigned.

A message left at a possible residential listing for Brantley wasn’t immediately returned. Four possible numbers for King in the Milwaukee area were all disconnected.


Wisconsin church bankruptcy plan to be put to vote

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Archdiocese of Milwaukee must explain in documents being sent to its creditors why its bankruptcy reorganization plan classifies sexual abuse victims into categories, with plans to pay one group and not others, a federal bankruptcy judge ordered Thursday.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it would not have the money to pay if lawsuits filed by clergy sexual abuse victims went against it. The reorganization plan filed in February would provide about $4 million to pay nearly 130 victims, but it would exclude hundreds of others from compensation.

The archdiocese has maintained that it is liable only for abuse committed by its priests, and people who were abused by religious order priests or lay people working in schools or parishes should seek compensation from those organizations. Victims believe the archdiocese has responsibility for all priests and lay people working within its boundaries.

Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley told the archdiocese’s lawyers to explain in documents going to creditors why the plan divided victims into groups to be paid or not paid instead of turning the money over to them and letting them decide how to divide it up, which is how other church bankruptcies have been handled.

Dozens of sexual abuse victims attended the hearing where Kelley and attorneys haggled over the wording of the documents to be sent to creditors voting on the plan. Kelley will then consider the votes in deciding whether to approve the plan.

Along with hundreds of sexual abuse victims, the archdiocese’s creditors include the bank that holds the mortgage on its headquarters and pension and medical funds.


Alderman: New arena might need regional sales tax

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Seated at a table on the Milwaukee Bucks’ home court, Peter Zehren looked around the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Thursday and acknowledged that the facilities look out of date. But the Milwaukee resident was firm when he said taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for an upgrade.

“It’s a travesty to average citizens who deserve a better environment and safer streets,” said Zehren, 53, who runs a nonprofit consulting firm. “Let them tax people when they go to events here.”

Zehren was attending a Milwaukee Press Club event at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, where three local political and business leaders took questions from reporters about the debate over a new stadium. The speakers acknowledged that a local tax wouldn’t be popular with residents like Zehren, but they said the option should be one of several on the table.

The Press Club event was planned weeks ago, well before Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced Wednesday that he is selling the team to Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for $550 million. The two New York executives committed to providing $100 million to help build a new arena, and Kohl said he’d donate another $100 million.

However, a new stadium could cost $400 million or more. If private investors don’t pick up the other half of the tab, taxpayers might be asked to cover the remainder.

The situation means tough decisions will have be made, said Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy, one of the panelists.

He said it’d be tough to persuade Milwaukee residents that scarce tax dollars should go toward building a new arena where there’s not enough money for pressing social issues. One answer might be a sales tax, imposed not only on Milwaukee County residents but also on people who live in adjoining counties, he said.


Wisconsin man accused of killing wife over nagging

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A 76-year-old Milwaukee County man has told investigators he shot his blind wife of 56 years because she’d been nagging him for three weeks.

Prosecutors charged Jack Lang of Oak Creek with first-degree intentional homicide Thursday.

Authorities say Lang called 911 on Wednesday to say he’d just shot his wife in the face. Police found June Lang dead near the bed.

Jack Lang told investigators she nagged him and wouldn’t shut up, and even though he loved her he’d had enough. He says she criticized him for not being able to help as much with housework.

He says he got his .22 caliber gun and warned her he was holding it inches from her head but she didn’t believe him.

Online court records didn’t immediately list a defense attorney.

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