Thursday, May 10, 2007

How does one become an exclusive realtor for the state?

That's what State Senator Ted Kanavas and State Representative Scott Newcomer are wondering.

Today, State Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) called on Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to investigate the Doyle Administration’s procurement process following the indictment of Larry J. Lupton, a vice president for UGL Equis Corporation. Mr. Lupton is the real estate agent for the State of Wisconsin, responsible for the sale of the State Department of Administration Building in Madison.

“I am calling for an investigation into the Doyle Administration’s procurement process by the Attorney General of Wisconsin. The sole real estate agent for the State of Wisconsin has been charged with taking $75,000 in kickbacks. The public deserves to know the facts and we have the responsibility to fix the system that allowed this to happen,” Kanavas stated.

According to a news release issued by the United States Department of Justice, Mr. Lupton, hired by the Doyle Administration, was charged with wire fraud and corruptly soliciting an improper payment. The report indicates Mr. Lupton allegedly sought $75,000 in kickbacks from a potential bidder. If convicted Mr. Lupton faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

“Something is seriously wrong with this process. Governor Doyle has entered into an exclusive contract with the Equis Corporation to sell the State Department of Administration building for $30 million to backfill his budget. That’s wrong,” Kanavas concluded.

On March 31, 2006, Senator Kanavas along with State Representative Scott Newcomer (R-Delafield) sent a letter to Governor Doyle requesting a review of the state contract with the Equis Corporation. The letter asked Governor Doyle to rescind the agreement that the Department of Administration entered into with UGL Equis granting them the right to broker surplus state property.
Governor Doyle's people know the drill at this point: Statement from DOA Secretary
Michael Morgan on Equis charges

Equis owed the State of Wisconsin an obligation to act strictly on our behalf. These allegations, if true, demonstrate a serious breech of that obligation. We are cancelling the contract and reviewing our legal options to recoup any taxpayer loss.
Here's part of the statement from Biskupic and JB Van Hollen, (click to enlarge in a new window)

I'm going to make my prediction now and stand by it - Neither Governor Doyle nor anyone in his administration will ever face a criminal charge as a result of the charges against Larry Lupton.

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