Milwaukee County Supervisor Thomas charged with accepting bribe

The Milwaukee County Courthouse. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee County Supervisor Thomas charged with accepting bribe

By Matt Montgomery. CREATED Feb 2, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 2, 2012

You can see Johnny Thomas' criminal complaint under Related Documents.

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas is accused of taking a $500 bribe to approve a government contract, then accept another $500 after the approval.

Thomas has been charged with accepting a bribe in public office and misconduct in public office, which are both felonies.  Those crimes could result in up to 9 1/2 years in prison.

Patrick Farley, the director of Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services, was concerned about Thomas' interactions with vendors doing business with Milwaukee County, according to the criminal complaint.

Farley agreed to go undercover and investigate Thomas.

Farley then called Thomas on December 1, 2011 to meet at a Dunkin Donuts to talk about that government contract on Friday, December 2.

Farley then put $500 cash in a plain manila folder on December 5.  On December 6, Farley took out the cash folder and Thomas picked up the folder and looked at the cash inside.  Farley then stated, "That's the first part of it."

Then the two returned to the Milwaukee County Courthouse and just before stepping off the elevator, Thomas said something along the lines of, "This is just between you and me, right?"

On December 12, Thomas was arrested and admitted taking $500 cash at the Dunkin Donuts meeting, according to the criminal complaint.  Thomas claimed he intended to return the money.  Investigators found a packet of $500 stashed behind a mirror on the dresser and authorities confirmed it was the same cash based on examining currency serial numbers.

Meanwhile Thomas' lawyer Mike Maistelman released this statement:

Supervisor John Thomas is innocent of these charges.  The DA has unfortunately taken unrelated events and forced an unreasonably negative and false story on top of the facts.  As the process unfolds and all the facts come out, John will be vindicated and cleared of all charges.  At this time, Supervisor Thomas, on my advice, is not making any statement.  His campaign for Comptroller is being suspended.

Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway released the following statement Thursday evening:

As Chairman of the Board, I am shocked and saddened by the nature of the charges made public this afternoon against Supervisor Johnny L. Thomas.  I had no knowledge of the case against Supervisor Thomas until it was revealed today.  We will let this case work its way through the justice system.  Supervisor Thomas remains innocent until proven guilty.  If these accusations are true, I am deeply disappointed.