Brown County DA refers Green Bay aldermens’ charges against mayor to special prosecutor

Local News

Tuesday, the Brown County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that they are in the process of referring complaints to an outside special prosecutor, accusing Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt of mishandling millions of dollars for the Hotel Northland project, and going behind the backs of city council members.

Those five Adermen are Guy Zima, Chris Wery, Andy Nicholson, Mark Steuer, and Tom de Wane.
Days later, Green Bay Alderwoman Barbara Dorff filed a  complaint against those five, saying that they held private meetings to come up with this complaint, which she says could be a walking quorum that violates open meetings laws. 

The five Aldermen said they believe that Mayor Jim Schmitt knowingly transferred $3.2 million to the bank account of Hotel Northland project owner, Keith Harenda.

The complaint also alleged that the mayor received notices from the original bank lender that the Hotel Northland co-owners were defaulting on their loans and that city council was not made aware of the notices, and stated that the mayor may have tried to divert funds to helping hotel owner Keith Harenda buy out his former partner in the project, Mike Frantz.

The mayor and his staff sent out press releases two months ago, denying all of the allegations against them.

Both the complaint against the mayor and the complaint against the aldermen were brought to the brown county DA’s office.

The special prosecutor, who will either be a district attorney or a prosecutor in another Wisconsin county, will look into the validity of both complaints. As of right now the Brown County District Attorney’s office has not said where that special prosecutor would come from, or when they’ll get the case.  

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