As the one year mark approaches, an investigation into Green Bay Mayor James Schmitt continues.
It was announced in January that Brown County District Attorney David Lasee had asked Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney to investigate a pair of complaints because of a conflict of interest resulting from dealings his office has with both Schmitt and city council members. Guy Zima, Tom DeWane, Andy Nicholson, Chris Wery and Mark Steuer requested an investigation in October of last year into their claims that Schmitt diverted $3.2 million in public funds, creating loan defaults in the the Hotel Northland redevelopment project. They also claimed Schmitt lied about the true purpose of a half million dollar proposed loan. Schmitt requested the money to keep the project moving forward. The five claimed the money was actually to buy developer Mike Frantz out of the project; something Frantz has confirmed publicly. Toney told Media Trackers Friday that “a final decision has not been made” regarding the investigation. He didn’t comment further on the probe’s status.
Days after the five made their claims about Schmitt, Alderwoman Barb Dorff requested an investigation into the quintet, claiming the news conference held by the five to announce the complaint amounted to a walking quorum. That would be a violation of the state’s open meetings law. Zima and DeWane were defeated in April elections and are no longer on the Green Bay City Council.
Toney previously told Media Trackers that he expected the outcome of both investigations would be released simultaneously.