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Case closed in ethics investigation into Peggy Romo West

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The case has now been closed on a year-long ethics investigation into Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West.

Romo West was accused of campaigning with Milwaukee County resources by Sylvia Ortiz, who ran against her in 2012.

"I think it's been a great learning experience for me," Romo West said.

"I think she disregarded ethics. I believe there's a huge conflict of interest," Ortiz said.

Through an open records request, FOX6 News obtained a file which details the allegations that Romo West used her campaign Facebook page: "Friends of Peggy Romo West" while on the Milwaukee County portal at County Board meetings.

The Milwaukee County Ethics Board reviewed posts made during meetings on her campaign -- sponsors for a fundraiser. She even chatted with a state representative who said: "I owe you some shots of Don Julio," to which Romo West replied: "I could use those shots."

"She was talking about doing shots with Josh Zepnick -- a very inappropriate conversation to be having during a committee meeting, when the taxpayers expect her to be paying attention to the committee meeting at hand," Ortiz said.

Romo West denies the campaigning on County time ever happened.

Also investigated was a photo in which Romo West is seen wearing a campaign T-shirt and appearing to pass out lollipops while riding in a Milwaukee County truck.

"You couldn't see my re-elect shirt anyway. I didn't have campaign material, and I didn't have candy that said 'Vote for Peggy,' so no I didn't go there with the express intent to ride in the truck," Romo West said.

"What I want from Peggy Romo West is an apology to the Milwaukee County taxpayers," Ortiz said.

"Clearly she'd like to create at least the illusion that I'm dishonest and that I'm corrupt.  She did run against me in 2012 when this was filed," Romo West said.

"I think that that's the way of deflecting the real issues here.  The real issue is that she used a Milwaukee County vehicle to campaign," Ortiz said.

The Ethics Board dismissed all the complaints, but with the following conditions. Romo West MUST:

  • Refrain from campaigning while engaged in official duties
  • Refrain from using public position to gain influence
  • Must maintain three separate Facebook pages (official, campaign, personal)

"I'm happy that this is all over.  I honestly hope we can move forward," Romo West said.