MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday, August 21st was Day Two of the bribery trial for former Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas. Thomas is accused of accepting $500 to place an item on the agenda of a committee he chaired -- during a sting operation.
Thomas' attorney said he believed the $500 was a campaign contribution -- not a bribe.
Tuesday, the prosecution in the case called witnesses to lay the foundation of its case.
The testimony Tuesday was filled with procedures -- including procedures for forming an agenda and approving contract bids. This testimony provided foundational pieces to the prosecution's case.
Thomas is accused of intentionally refusing to put an item on the agenda of the County Board's Finance and Audit Committee he chaired.
The item in question was for recommending a financial services contract to Public Financial Management Corporation or PFM. It was a move already approved by the County Administration Department after a bidding process. After six meetings of the committee and repeated requests by the County Administration -- nothing.
County Finance Manager Pamela Bryant read one of the emails sent to Thomas.
"The FA recommendation of PFM as the County`s financial advisor has not scheduled for consideration by the Finance and Audit Committee. Would you please consider scheduling it for the October cycle or as soon as possible?"
Bryant reported Thomas' inaction to County Administrator Patrick Farley. Farley will testify about his actions -- which include talking to the Milwaukee County District Attorney about Thomas and participating in the sting operation -- meeting Thomas at a Dunkin Donuts to discuss the PFM contract.
Prosecutors said after Farley and Thomas met, and Farley gave Thomas $500 on PFM's behalf, the contract suddenly appeared on the Board committee's December 2011 agenda.