Just a week after a scathing audit showed that Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation failed to follow state laws and properly track taxpayer-funded loans, the state’s chief jobs agency is being rocked with yet another scandal as a top official is resigning amid controversy over personal debts of nearly $45,000 owed to the State of Wisconsin.
State records obtained by WKOW News 27 show that John Gillespie, hired in April to serve as WEDC’s Public Information Officer as part of a plan to improve the scandal-plagued agency’s damaged reputation, owes $36,047 in back taxes to the State of Wisconsin, according to the Department of Revenue’s delinquent taxpayer list, and another $7,770 for improperly received unemployment insurance compensation benefits, according to the Department of Workforce Development.
“I don’t often find myself at a loss for words, but the only phrase coming to mind right now is, “are you kidding me?” Unfortunately, this is what happens when your governor is off campaigning for president, leaving an unqualified political hack with no business experience in charge of a multi-billion dollar effort to save Wisconsin’s floundering economy,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “This kind of rank incompetence is why Wisconsin ranks dead last in the nation in short-term job growth, has plummeted from 11th to 44th in job creation and ranks 45th in wages under Scott Walker. It’s beyond comprehension that Scott Walker continues to deflect the blame for what really amounts to almost criminal negligence. The time for excuses is over — the failures at WEDC are Scott Walker’s failures and he must take responsibility for them.”
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