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Former Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament dies at 76

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Tom Ament has died.

He spent a decade as the Milwaukee County executive before a pension scandal did him in. He was 76.

The Journal Sentinel said Ament has kept a very low profile in recent years -- and his friends said he was suffering from cancer in recent months.

Ament spent 34 years in Milwaukee County government, where he played a role in building the Brewers' Miller Park stadium and the Calatrava wing of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

However, Ament became best known throughout Wisconsin as the architect of a pension deal which the County Board quietly approved in 2001. It awarded millions of dollars in lump sum pensions to Milwaukee County officials and employees.

Once taxpayers learned about it, Ament retired just before a recall election could be held against him. Seven county board members were recalled later.

Scott Walker became the county executive right after that -- and it laid the foundation for Walker's successful bid for Wisconsin governor in 2010.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)