January 18, 2011

CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST: Scott Walker's Abuse Protection Legislation Protects Him

MADISON-Little-remarked upon in the advancing Republican effort to protect drunk drivers and facilities where patients are abused is the fact that Scott Walker's first piece of legislation would also have the effect of protecting him from responsibility in his multiple failures at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and in a case where a 15-year-old boy was killed by the failure of a county parking structure.

 
Walker passed blame to underlings at the facility, where female patients were raped after being housed alongside violent male offenders, and where a patient starved to death. And he used the moments after the disaster at O'Donnell Park to declare himself similarly free of any responsibility. But both instances are likely to result in lawsuits alleging negligent behavior, as well as a signal lack of leadership, by Scott Walker.
 
Walker's first piece of legislation would keep records vital to such lawsuits confidential, and would limit other legal exposure for Walker himself.

"It is a shocking conflict of interest for Scott Walker to make his first piece of legislation something that would have the effect of covering his tracks after his disastrous run as Milwaukee County Executive," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. "Whether it was sexual assault at the mental health complex or the death of a 15-year-old at O'Donnell Park, Scott Walker should be held accountable for what he did - and didn't do- to prevent these tragedies from occurring."