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Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin pay $58K fine for breaking election laws


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin has paid a $58,000 fine on behalf of 11 former board members accused of violating federal election laws.

The fine was levied this summer, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said it was only recently made public.

Columnist Dan Bice first exposed the matter in 2010, when five board members resigned. He said union leaders made personal campaign donations to a national affiliate of the fire fighters’ group – and then they had the union reimburse those expenses by claiming they went to meetings that were never held.

The paper said the 11 former executive board members took over $18,000 in their false claims – and they later returned the money once the scheme became public.

Over the weekend, union chief Mahlon Mitchell confirmed that his group paid the fine – plus the legal fees for the former board members.

Mitchell said the union paid the fines because the board members were acting in their official capacities at the time. He said he’s glad the case is closed – and most union members want to move forward.

The Professional Fire Fighters represent 3,200 members in 57 Wisconsin communities.