State Rep. Bill Kramer, sentenced to five months in prison Tuesday on charges of sexual assault, is the latest in a series of lawmakers punished for committing crimes while in office.
Over the past 35 years, 21 state lawmakers have been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors for acts committed while they served in the Legislature.
State law requires anyone convicted of a felony offense be removed from office.
Here are short summaries of other lawmakers who committed crimes while in office drawn from the Legislative Reference Bureau and the State Journal archives, and the year they were charged:
• Rep. Jeff Wood, I-Chippewa Falls, is sentenced to 45 days in jail, later converted to work release, for his third drunken driving offense. An effort to expel him fails (2010)
• Sen. Gary George, D-Milwaukee, is recalled from office and then federally charged with defrauding the government for taking $270,000 in kickbacks related to a Milwaukee-based nonprofit and for taking bribes from a Milwaukee businessman who got state contracts. George, who lost the recall election, was sentenced to four years in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $570,000 in restitution. (2003)
• Sen. Brian Burke, D-Milwaukee, pleaded guilty to felony misconduct in public office for using state employees to run his failed bid for attorney general and misdemeanor obstruction. He was sentenced to six months in jail with work release. (2002)
• Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala, D-Madison, pleaded guilty to two felony counts and was sentenced to nine months with work release in the Dane County Jail, for illegally funneling contributions to a purportedly independent political group and using the taxpayer-funded Senate Democratic Caucus office to run political campaigns. He was released early and placed on home detention. (2002)
• Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, R-Brookfield, was convicted of three felonies and a misdemeanor for using state staff and resources to run Republican Assembly candidates’ campaigns and his own re-election campaign, resigning from office in 2006 after his conviction. That was overturned on appeal, and in 2010, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a $5,000 fine. (2002)
• Assembly Majority Leader Mickey Foti, R-Oconomowoc, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for hiring aide Sherry Schultz to raise money for campaigns. His plea deal called for two months in jail with work release and to testify at Jensen’s trial. (2002)
• Assistant Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Ladwig, R-Racine, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ethics violation and was sentenced to 30 days of electronic home monitoring. (2002)
• Following a lengthy “John Doe” investigation into gifts, tickets, trips and meals given to lawmakers primarily by lobbyist Gary Goyke, several legislators were charged with a variety of state ethics, election and lobbying laws violations. Goyke was fined $75,000 after pleading guilty to four felonies for laundering campaign contributions. Lawmakers cited were: Sen. Richard Shoemaker, D-Menomonie, who resigned from office and spent 60 days in jail after he was charged with receiving illegal money from a lobbyist, failing to disclose a loan on financial disclosure statements, using his office for personal gain, defrauding his campaign committee and filing false campaign reports. George, D-Milwaukee; Sen. Barbara Ulichny, D-Milwaukee; Sen. Richard Kreul, R-Fennimore; Sen. Marvin Roshell, D-Chippewa Falls; Sen. Joseph Strohl, D-Racine; Rep. Scott Fergus, D-Racine; Rep. Walter Kunicki, D-Milwaukee; Rep. John Robinson, D-Wausau; and Rep. Thomas Hauke, D-West Allis, all paid fines for accepting illegal gifts arranged by Goyke. (1988-90)
• Rep. Walter Ward, D-Milwaukee, is charged with sexually assaulting a legislative aide. He was defeated for re-election, then convicted and sentenced to four years in prison. Ward also served a 30-day jail sentence for depositing campaign funds into his personal accounts. (1980)
• Sen. James Devitt, R-Greenfield, is convicted of giving felony false testimony for attempting to conceal a single $5,000 campaign contribution under 11 contributors’ names. He was removed from office. (1978)
• Sen. Monroe Swan, D-Milwaukee, is convicted of felony and misdemeanor charges for misusing federally paid workers in his unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor. Swan was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. (1978)