Update 2:15 p.m.: Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz on Tues., April 25, dismissed without prejudice the case against former Racine Alderman John Tate II.
Tate’s initial appearance on a single felony charge of having a public interest in a private contract while holding public office was originally scheduled for May 11. His court date was moved after his attorney, Pat Cafferty, filed a motion to dismiss. Tate faced up to 3-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
Having a case dismissed without prejudice means prosecutors can re-open the case against Tate should additional details become available.
In a written statement to Racine County Eye, Cafferty said, “We are in full agreement with the Judge’s decision to dismiss the case against John Tate II today. Mr. Tate has been a dedicated and trusted public servant to the Racine community and the State of Wisconsin. He (is) still young. He still has lots of energy, and he intends to find a way to continue serving the community. He looks forward to working hard to restore his reputation.”
Racine County Eye has reached out to Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson for comment and will update this story when/if we hear from her office.
Original story: Former Racine Alder John Tate II filed a motion Mon., April 24, in Racine County Circuit Court to dismiss the felony charge leveled against him by the Racine District Attorney’s office.
Tate will be in court today, April 25, for his initial appearance. His attorney, Pat Cafferty, will argue the charge should be dismissed.
In the criminal complaint against him, Tate is accused of using his position to vote to accept the grant to fund and create the job description for the position of Violence Prevention Coordinator (VICP), as part of Blueprint for Peace, a national effort to reduce violent crime in communities across the country.
Tate applied for the VICP position and was offered the job with a salary of nearly $102,000 and benefits. He was also offered a $10,000 forgivable loan as a city employee to purchase a home as long as the house was in the City of Racine, the complaint continues.
Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson alleges the he was part of the executive committees that both created the job description and the contract for the VICP position. She also pointed to the home loan as an issue.
“(The loan) was just part of his overall illegal job offer,” she said in a conversation through Facebook Messenger.
But in his motion to dismiss, Cafferty argues that Tate fulfilled his duty as alder and as both a member of the finance committee and president of the Common Council only by voting to accept the grant money. The committee that created the job description was comprised of individuals from the City of Racine’s Health, City Administration and Human Resources Departments. From the motion:
Following the approval by the City Council for acceptance of the grant allocation, the executive branch of the City of Racine began the process of creating the contract for the role of Violence Interruption Coordinator. The members of the executive branch who were involved in creating the contract and the terms of employment of the role were members of the City of Racine’s Health Department, City Administration and Human Resources Department.
Tate’s role argued to be inconsequential to hiring process
Cafferty further details that Tate’s role in the creation of the position began and ended with vetting the details of the grant and voting to accept the money.
“Once the Common Council had approved acceptance of the funds, the issue transferred from the legislative branch of the City to the executive branch of the City,” the motion continues. “The Common Council and the Finance and Personnel Committee took no action relative to the hiring process for the role, the creation of the contract for the role or in formatting the job description for the role.”
His court appearance is today, April 25, at 1:30 p.m.
John Tate II in the news
Tate was in the news last year for other issues. Read below to learn more.
In an open letter to Gov. Tony Evers published on July 11, 2022, David Liners, Executive Director of WISDOM , and Peggy West Schroder, Campaign Coordinator of Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO), speak out on John Tate’s job loss as Chairperson of the Parole Commission, along with 60 other signatures from Racine area faith leaders.
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