Wis. rail exec charged with illegal donations - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wis. rail exec charged with illegal donations


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors have charged a Wisconsin railroad magnate with making illegal campaign contributions.

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Company chief executive William Gardner faces one count of excessive political contributions and one count of unlawful political contribution in Washington County. Both counts are felonies.

Gardner didn't immediately return a message left at his office on Monday morning. Online court records didn't list an attorney for him.

Gardner last May apologized for using company money to reimburse employees' political donations to Gov. Scott Walker. The governor, who was in the middle of a primary contest at the time, returned about $44,000 in contributions. Donating corporate money to political candidates is illegal in Wisconsin.

State election officials and Milwaukee prosecutors are handling the case. They planned an afternoon news conference to discuss the investigation.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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