- Associated Press - Saturday, July 5, 2014
Office skirts selection panel to hire Walker aide

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Cindy Archer, the longtime aide to Gov. Scott Walker who landed a new state job and a hefty raise, wasn’t a finalist for the job. In fact, she never even applied.

Even so, Archer was named the State Public Defender Board’s new chief information officer in September. She makes $113,459 per year, 31 percent more than her predecessor.

Board officials defended the hiring Thursday, telling the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1mS4MY6https://bit.ly/1mS4MY6 ) she was uniquely qualified for the position and was being compensated fairly.

Archer was one of Walker’s top aides when he served as Milwaukee County executive. She was part of an inner circle of county and gubernatorial campaign staff that regularly traded messages using private emails through a secret router set up in Walker’s office to evade Wisconsin’s open-records laws.

FBI agents raided Archer’s home in 2011 as part of a now-closed John Doe probe into illegal campaign work in Walker’s county office. The investigation led to six convictions. Neither Archer nor Walker was charged with any wrongdoing.

Archer followed Walker after he became governor, becoming deputy secretary of the Department of Administration, where she made $124,000. She resigned in 2011 and took a $25,000 pay cut to become a legislative liaison for the state Department of Children and Families. She moved from DCF to the public defender board’s office in September.

Seven candidates interviewed for the CIO job, but Archer wasn’t one of them. Nor was she one of the two finalists whose names were forwarded to State Public Defender Kelli Thompson and her deputy Michael Tobin, department spokesman Randy Kraft said.

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Lawyer: Mental exam would violate girl’s rights

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - A 12-year-old girl accused of stabbing of a classmate to please a fiction character should not have to submit to a psychological exam because doing so would violate her right to remain silent, her defense attorney says.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren granted prosecutors’ request for the mental test during a hearing Wednesday, over the objection of defense attorney Anthony Cotton. Cotton filed a motion Thursday asking the judge to reconsider, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/TI7x7l). Cotton argued that an exam would involve asking the girl about the incident, which would violate her right to remain silent because the answers would presumably be made available to the state.

He also noted that two doctors - one for the defense and one appointed by the state - agreed the girl was not mentally competent to assist in her own defense.

“Until the issue of competency is addressed, (the girl) lacks the ability to understand the nature of the proceedings, therefore her rights, or the importance of being candid about potential mental illness,” the motion reads.

Prosecutors say she and another girl plotted for months to kill their 12-year-old friend to curry favor with the popular online specter known as Slender Man. They lured her to a park west of Milwaukee on May 31 and stabbed her 19 times, authorities said.

Doctors told police the knife narrowly missed a major artery near the victim’s heart. The child has since been released from a hospital.

Cotton said he knew of no case in which an incompetent defendant was required to submit to a psychological exam to determine mental disease or defect. Nor could he find a case in which one was ordered before a preliminary hearing, he wrote.

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Police capture suspect in rest stop killing

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - Authorities say they’ve captured an Illinois man suspected in the deaths of a co-worker and a woman at an interstate rest stop.

Authorities say the man was arrested Friday in Wisconsin after a 25-minute chase.

Illinois State Police say the man is suspected in the deaths of two Illinois residents: 44-year-old Tonya Bargman of Monticello and 37-year-old Todd Hansmeier of Rockford.

Hansmeier’s body was found Monday at a call center where the two worked. Bargman was killed Tuesday at an Interstate 39 rest stop.

Authorities say the suspect was driving Bargman’s car when police spotted him.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin says the man lost control after the car’s tires were deflated using stop sticks. He crashed into some trees.

Illinois State Police say charges are pending.

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Janesville man sentenced for stealing $1.8 million

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) - A Janesville man convicted of stealing $1.8 million from his employer was sentenced this week to 2½ years in prison, and the judge said he couldn’t remember a bigger theft in Rock County in 30 years.

Steven R. Stoikes, 44, used to work for Butters-Fetting, a contractor in Janesville specializing in mechanical and electrical work. Over a period of seven years, he would order more copper tubing than was needed for jobs, and then cut up the excess and sell it for scrap, prosecutors said.

Stoikes sobbed in court Wednesday as he apologized to his family, the Janesville Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1t6YZqZhttps://bit.ly/1t6YZqZ ).

“I let them think they raised a thief,” he said of his parents. “I damaged the family name.”

Rock County Judge James Daley noted that Stoikes was honorably discharged from the military after serving in Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s. But the community expects such a crime to fairly punished, he added.

Daley and prosecutor David O’Leary agreed that they’d never heard of such a large theft in the county’s history.

O’Leary asked that Stoikes be sentenced to three years in prison, because Stoikes visited a casino more than 500 times from 2006 to 2012, where he wagered about $24 million and lost more than $3 million.

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