State Senators Wirh, Robson: Legislators Ask Attorney General to Investigate

Senator Bob Wirch, 608-267-8979
Senator Judy Robson, 608-266-2253

MADISON — State Senator Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) along with Senate Democratic Leader Judy Robson (D-Beloit) and State Representative John Lehman (D-Racine) have sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking them to investigate any possible violations that might have occurred in the creation of the BIOcatt and CATI, Inc.

BIOcatt and CATI, Inc. are privately-run, non-profit businesses created to promote computer and business training in southeast Wisconsin. Both offer training seminars and classes to help local businesses. They are supposedly designed to boost local economic development while also benefiting the local technical college.

“We heard from several people, taxpayers, concerned that their hard-earned money was going to support an entity that hasn’t been open and honest about what they are doing with tax dollars,” said Wirch. “That is what prompted us to start asking questions,” he added.

In early April, the legislators sent a letter to Sam Borden, President of Gateway Technical College, asking him to answer several questions about the creation and operations of a non-profit 501 (c) (3) after being alerted that there were concerns. Those questions remain unanswered.

“There have been too many alarm bells to ignore,” Robson said. “I have heard numerous concerns from people who have the best interests of the public at heart. We sought answers from the president of the board of Gateway, and the response did not address our concerns.”

Amid allegations of open meetings law violations, potential conflicts of interest, and inappropriate use of tax dollars, the legislators have asked the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Department of Justice to look into what, if any, wrong-doings might have occurred. Gateway has even retained an attorney from the law firm of Michael Best & Freidrich to trail investigators from the Technical College System during their search for the truth.

“I’m disappointed that the Gateway Administration and Board of Directors will not be forthright in answering the questions posed in our letter,” said Wirch. “The taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going, and instead of just answering our questions, they have hired a high-priced law firm.” “I ‘m not going to speculate, but to me that doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Wirch.