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EXTORTION.....Such an ugly word.

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Your money or your legislation









Wisconsin state senator charged with extorting money from Realtors group
Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Inman News Features




The former majority leader of the Wisconsin State Senate Charles Chvala allegedly extorted money from the Wisconsin Realtors Association in connection with legislation the association introduced in the state legislature.

Chvala was charged in October with 20 felony counts that included extortion, misconduct in public office, unlawful political contributions and filing false reports with the state's Election Board, according to news reports.

The 69-page complaint filed against Chvala by the Milwaukee district attorney's office mentions the Wisconsin Realtors Association, its president William Malkasian and AB 334, legislation first conceived by the association in 1992 that aimed to regulate home inspectors. Neither the association nor Malkasian has been accused of any wrongdoing in the case, and the allegations against Chvala also mention a number of other organizations from which he allegedly extorted money.

According to the complaint, AB 334 passed the state assembly in February 1998, six years after it was proposed, by a 91-5 vote. The legislation then became stalled in the state senate. When Malkasian met with Chvala to inquire why the bill hadn't been scheduled for a senate vote, Chvala allegedly indicated the Realtors association would have to pay for any progress on it, according to the complaint.

"Bill, you're asking for something but you have not earned it. You have not done anything to show me that it is in my best interest to work with you on this issue," said Chvala, according to the complaint. "Thereafter, (Chvala) made a request for a sizable campaign contribution," according to the complaint.

Chvala at that time chaired the committee on senate organization, and according to a statement cited in the complaint, he "had complete control over the scheduling of AB 344 for a vote in the Senate."

The "sizable" contribution was first $3,000, then grew to $4,500, allegedly because the association didn't pay up fast enough, according to the complaint.

The Senate Democratic Committee ultimately received $6,000 from the Wisconsin Realtors Association, plus an additional $1,500 from a local real estate political action committee, and $4,500 of the combined sum allegedly was extorted, according to the complaint.

The bill subsequently was introduced in the state senate and passed in March 1998 "in the ninth inning," according to a statement cited in the complaint.

Malkasian believed the money was "squeezed out of him" and felt he had been "victimized" by the incident, according to a statement cited in the complaint.


"Extortion has victims," said Mike Wittenwyler, an attorney for the Realtors association.

If Chvala is convicted on all 20 counts he could be sentenced to 85 years in prison and fined $200,000, according to news reports.

"I will fight these allegations because they are not true," said Chvala in a statement published by WisPolitics.com.

A three-day preliminary hearing for Chvala is scheduled for Jan. 27-29.
 

Austin

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I don't get it? I thought that was the way the systsem has been operating since the beginning of time. This guy must have PO'ed some big Democrat or union group and got himself liquidated.
 

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Elite Member
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Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
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North Carolina
That is EXACTLY how it works and why I am trying to change the system in NC.

I urge everyone on this forum to sign the NC Apprasiers Petition located at:

http://www.appraiserspetition.com/nc/

I don't care who does the buying or why, or how good their intentions are.
The buying and selling of board and commission seats is just plain wrong.
The buying and selling of legislative votes is just plain wrong.
Political contributions to politicians with explicit expectations of swaying votes or obtaining special treatment is just plain wrong.

Lots of folks on this forum keep saying that SOMEONE needs to do something, SOMEONE needs to change things, SOMEONE needs to speak up etc. etc.

Well, that some one is YOU!

Find a way to get involved in cleaning up the cess pool our business has become.
 
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