In yet another example of the graft that has plagued the WEDC, semi-public job “creation” entity created by Gov. Scott Walker, the Associated Press is reporting high-ranking aides to Gov. Walker, including then-Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, pushed to give a $4.3 million unsecured loan to a company that created no jobs and is now defunct.
Gov. Scott Walker’s top aides pressed for a taxpayer-funded $500,000 loan to a now-defunct Milwaukee construction company that was collapsing and created no jobs, according to a newspaper investigation.
Walker’s economic development agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, awarded an unsecured loan to Building Committee Inc., owned by William Minahan, according to records the Wisconsin State Journal obtained through an open records request.
The 2011 loan was for a proposed project to retrofit bank and credit union buildings for energy efficiency. The WEDC sued BCI last year in an attempt to get the money back.
It is among several WEDC loans recently questioned by state auditors in a report that led Walker on Friday to ask lawmakers to scrap the loan program.
Paul Jadin, the former head of WEDC, said Minahan and then-Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch pushed for a $4.3 million loan, but the agency couldn’t justify more $500,000 — which Jadin said he considered “fairly risky.”
Minahan had given Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign a last-minute $10,000 donation on Election Day — the maximum individual contribution.
As the associated press report notes, WEDC also was unable to locate the underwriting documents justifying the $500,000 loan to BCI. What’s more, William Minahan, the owner of BCI, lied on his loan application, indicating neither BCI nor any of its officers had been sued in the previous five years, despite the fact that court records showed three lawsuits.