Rail CEO sentenced on campaign contribution charges

July 8, 2011

MILWAUKEE – The president of regional railroad Wisconsin & Southern, William Gardner, was sentenced to 24 months’ probation by a state court here after pleading guilty to improperly donating some $53,000 to the election campaign of Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Prosecutors charged that at Gardner’s direction, his employees wrote campaign contribution checks from their own accounts, and that Gardner then reimbursed the employees. Prosecutors said the scheme was intended by Gardner to avoid state limits on campaign contributions.

WITI television in Milwaukee quoted Gardner as telling the judge, “My actions were stupid illegal and selfish. The fault is mine and mine alone and there is no excuse for what I did. I apologize deeply. Since April of 2010, I think it is fair to say I have done everything I can to make this thing right.”

The UTU does not represent any Wisconsin & Southern employees.