Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt sentenced to $4,000 fine, 40 hours of community service

Schmitt plead guilty for his role in his 2015 re-election campaign finances

GREEN BAY - Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt was sentenced to a $4,000 fine and 40 hours of community service in Brown County Court on Monday, after pleading guilty to three misdemeanors in regards to his role in his 2015 re-election campaign finances. 

A special prosecutor said the real crime in the case was Schmitt trying to cover up the situation. Meanwhile the defense argued that they wanted the fine reduced to $1,500. Both the prosecutor and defense said that Schmitt cooperated to provide evidence in the case which ultimately lead to him pleading guilty. 

The misdemeanors included making false statements to an election official, unlawful political contributions and violation of campaign contribution limits accepting funds over $1,040.

Mayor Schmitt apologized both in court and at a press conference following the hearing where he took responsibility for his actions.

Although Mayor Schmitt continued to say that he violated these campaign finance laws by mistake and didn't know that he was breaking Wisconsin state law.

"My explanation is simple, I was often in a hurry to get my finance reports completed, I did not fully understand the campaign finance laws," said Mayor Jim Schmitt. "I'm sorry especially to the citizens of Green Bay and this will never happen again."

People who attended the sentencing hearing including Alderman Guy Zima isn't buying the Mayor's claim that he violated these laws unknowingly.

"This was not a naive gentleman that didn't know what he was doing," said Zima. " He only cooperated when he knew he was trapped."

Some people left the courtroom unhappy that they didn't get a chance to speak at the hearing and say that this plea agreement sends the wrong message.

"We've proven that the citizens have a different set of laws then the ruling class and we did not follow the statutes of Wisconsin," said Green Bay resident David Vanderleest.

Outagamie Judge Mitch Metropulos agreed to the plea deal citing that Mayor Schmitt is not a danger to the public, had no previous record and has continued to perform his duties as Mayor citing the development in downtown Green Bay.

Mayor Schmitt said he will continue his mayoral duties and said that these charges have had no impact on his performance as mayor.


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