These are big time criminal charges!
Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee has been charged federally with extortion and bribery. He is accused of using his position to solicit bribes from businesses in his district under the promise of using his influence in licensing matters.
U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic announced the charges at a press conference this afternoon.
Biskupic said the charges come after a yearlong investigation, prompted by complaints from business owners.
Biskupic said the allegations involve "multiple business owners on multiple occasions."
McGee was also charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, but District Attorney John Chisholm said that state law requires that those charges remain sealed for now.
The Common Council has the power to award, suspend and revoke liquor licenses, which are often the subject of heavy lobbying and neighborhood discussion. But the council also controls other licenses, such as taxicab licenses.
Police moved to arrest McGee over the Memorial Day holiday weekend "on public safety concerns," Chisholm said.
If McGee is convicted of all the allegations against him, he could face up to 30 years in prison, Biskupic said.
Chisholm said two other individuals have been taken into custody in connection with the case.
McGee is beings held in Milwaukee County Jail on charges related to substantial battery and conspiracy, according to a booking sheet obtained from jail records today.
Police said this morning that McGee was arrested at 5:30 p.m. Monday. A clerk at the jail today declined to release McGee's arrest and detention report for the booking saying that all information would be redacted from it.
A mug shot, however, shows that McGee was booked in on felony charges for:
* Substantial battery/intend bodily harm, party to a crime.
* Substantial battery-intend bodily harm.
McGee is expected to appear in court this afternoon at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, where a small group of people sat waiting for more information. One carried a sign asking to free McGee while another woman wore a hat that read "McGee for Me."
They declined comment, however, saying they wanted to learn more information on charges pending against the alderman.
McGee is being held on $250,000 cash bail.How in world does this guy keep getting elected? For pete's sake, haven't the people in his district had enough?