Talking Racine Episode 13- Does money buy access to officials in Racine?

This week on Talking Racine, we will be posting a video of Mayor John Dickert in a deposition discussing pay to play and his interactions with Doug Nicholson. Nicholson sits on the City Redevelopment Board and ironically, the City Ethics Board, raising important questions and concerns of unfair business advantages and conflict of interest. The purpose of this episode is to show the dysfunction of having a private enterprise operating the RDA. Also, influencing the public agenda toward the concerns of the non-elected officials.

The lawsuit states that on two occasions in 2009, Nicholson gave Zachary Williams, then-finance director and general strategist for the Dickert campaign, $1,000 in bank-wrapped $100 bills from a safe in his bar, telling him that the money was from a campaign fundraiser. In the first instance, the lawsuit alleges that Nicholson told Williams that money had been put in a jar that he had placed on the bar, so there was no way to know who had contributed or how much money they had given. The complaint alleges that Williams had been at the fundraiser and remembers that there had been no jar, and that donations had been taken by check.

In the second instance, the complaint claims that Nicholson gave Williams $1,000 in cash from his safe, told him the money was a from a fundraiser, and that the money should be reported “as a campaign contribution of various unknown amounts from various unknown individuals.”

In response to those claims, Nicholson’s answer states that Nicholson, the “answering defendant, exercising his rights under Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, respectfully declines to answer any of those allegations on the grounds that his answers might tend to incriminate him.

1 Comment

  1. What’s the cities deal with selling off a parcel of Pierce Woods park to Fischer. First they only got 40,000 for it which sounds cheap. Second it was all done on the down low, until it was voted upon by 5 people. There is the vacant Vobeda factory 25 ft right next door, and the concrete works building which was just moved into 2 months ago. This deal was definitely on the table before concrete works moved in. I think Old Man Pierce would be rolling in his grave knowing land he donated was being sold off.


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