MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Governor Tony Evers has granted pardons to 17 individuals, adding to the 12 pardons he has already granted.
“I believe in second chances. Each of these individuals has earned a pardon by paying their debt to society, making amends, and contributing to their communities,” said Gov. Evers. “Many of the individuals I pardoned were seeking pardons to advance their careers or better serve their communities, and I wish them the best in these endeavors.”
Here are the individuals who have been pardoned, according to Gov. Evers’ office:
- Robert Olson, 58: Olson was 19-years-old when he and a friend stole two calves, sold them, and was convicted for theft. Gov. Evers’ office says Olson has been an active member in his community and pursued a pardon in order to obtain a passport, possess a firearm, and get licensed to be a foster parent.
- Paul Anderson, 43: At 19, Anderson duplicated a friend’s car key and used the vehicle without consent. Anderson now works at an automobile dealership and sought a pardon to better his future career opportunities.
- Scott Sowle, 50: When Sowle was 19, he was convicted of attempted burglary. Sowle currently serves as a safety manager for a local manufacturer and pursued a pardon to enable him to travel internationally for work and possibly run for local office.
- Bradley Cummings: At 18, Cummings sold prescription drugs to an undercover detective, resulting in a felony drug-dealing conviction. Cummings is a current employee with the Portage County Register of Deeds, and applied for a pardon to restore his right to run for public office and to become a notary for work purposes.
- Rudolph Rott, 62: Rott was convicted of felony drug-dealing 35 years ago. Rott is an active member of his community and church, and pursued a pardon to enable him to hunt with his family and get involved with public service.
- Michael Hranicka, 45: At 18, he and others stole snowmobiles, spray-painted school property, and went into a resident’s home to take electronics. He sought a pardon to expand his business opportunities as a self-employed flooring installer and to get involved with youth trout conservation programs. He also hopes to run for public office one day.
- Anthony Bianco: When he was 17-years-old, he acted as the getaway driver during a robbery. He is pursuing a pardon to clear his name and to be eligible for future promotions at work.
- Joseph Bass, 49: At 23, he was caught dealing cocaine in Milwaukee. He pursued a pardon because he believes it will help advance his business.
- Aaron Roux, 35: When Roux was 19, he and a friend broke into a number of cabins and sheds locked up for the winter. They stole construction tools, fishing equipment, and assorted goods. He pursued a pardon to help advance his business prospects and to become more involved with his community.
- James Grover, 36: At 22, Grover stole a vehicle and drove it while intoxicated, crashing it on the side of a road. He has completed an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Design Technology from Moraine Park Technical College.
- Alvin Korbel, 69: When Korbel was 18, he and a group of friends committed multiple arsons while under the influence of alcohol. He pursued a pardon to be able to hunt.
- David Bolton, 65: At 22-years-old, Bolton and a friend were intoxicated and robbed an ice cream salesman of $7 and robbed the night auditor of a hotel of $225. He has since retired after a successful career, and now sober, is involved with AA as a volunteer. He pursued a pardon to expand his volunteer opportunities with his local VA and hunt with his brothers.
- Rachel Mohr, 51: At 30-years-old, she was convicted for dealing marijuana. She sought a pardon to obtain a passport to visit family out of the country.
- Christoph Halverson, 34: At 21, he refused to pull over pursuant to a traffic stop. He is a foster parent, very active member of his church community, and volunteers in a variety of different capacities.
- Matthew Riehle, 38: At 19, he was convicted for dealing marijuana. He pursued a pardon to expand his construction business and to improve his chances of being accepted to an engineering program.
- Josh Reppen, 31: When Reppen was 17, he drove a get-away van while a friend stole mini dirt bikes and clothing items from a local business. He pursued a pardon so he can continue to be a positive example for his children and possibly someday teach his son to hunt.
- Joel Blasé, 44: At 19, he robbed a pizza delivery man. He pursued a pardon to be able to run for local political office.
The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses.
Every Wisconsin governor in modern history has granted pardons with the exception of Gov. Scott Walker. Gov. Doyle had granted more than 300 pardons while Gov. Thompson granted 238.
Gov. Evers has now granted 29 pardons.