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updated 3:23 PM UTC, Dec 16, 2017

Senator Tells UW Not To Make Taxpayers Cover "Inappropriate Decisions"

  • Written by Wheeler News
  • Published in News

(Madison, WI) -- The state Justice Department is negotiating a settlement of the U-W's lawsuit against two former Oshkosh campus officials accused of illegally funneling tax money to a private foundation.

Republican Senator Steve Nass of Whitewater says he's been hearing about a "bailout" in which taxpayers would be on the hook for millions of dollars -- and he says such a deal would hurt the effort to rebuild trust between the U-W and state lawmakers. Former Oshkosh chancellor Richard Wells and business officer Thomas Sonnleitner were sued in January, after the U-W alleged that they funneled tax money to the school's private foundation to back five building projects -- and Nass says taxpayers should not have to pay for what he called "inappropriate decisions" by Wells and Sonnleitner. The U-W has said it could not be held liable, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the banks involved could try to recover what they loaned -- and the school's trying to keep the foundation solvent so it does not put scholarships at risk.

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