Saturday, August 29, 2009

DeBraska, Former Police Union President Convicted Of Forgery And Identity Theft


By H. Nelson Goodson
August 29, 2009

Milwaukee - On Friday, August 28th, a jury found Bradley DeBraska, 53, former Milwaukee Police Association President guilty on two felony counts, one count of forgery and one count of identity theft. He is now facing up to 12 years in prison, and up to $20,000 in fines.
Assistant District Attorney Kurt Benkley will now ask Circuit Judge Richard Sankovitz to revoke DeBraska's signature bond and incarcerate DeBraska until sentencing. He is facing a substantial time in prison, according to Benkley. Debraska is expected back in court next Friday, September 4th to learn his scheduled sentencing date.
DeBraska retired in 2005 from the Milwaukee Police Department. He was once considered an influential figure within the ranks of the Milwaukee Police Department. He was a police officer for 27 years, including 17 as union president.
The criminal complaint stated that DeBraska ordered his union secretary Candy Johnson in July 2004 to fabricate a memo he dictated word by word pretending to be a 1999 memo from former Common Council President John Kalwitz to city labor negotiator Frank Forbes. Johnson testified that DeBraska had told her to “take this to the grave.”
Kalwitz during trial testified he did not write or signed the memo. “Potentially millions in public money was affected by this document. This is serious business,” said John Chisholm, Milwaukee County District Attorney.
The city wanted to used money from a pension fund, but the police union challenged their attempt to used more then $2 million to $3 million from the pension fund to upgrade pension computers. The city said it did not have a cap on spending, but DeBraska fabricated a memo saying that Kalwitz had agreed to a cap with “the ceiling of 3 million for ERS computer costs.”

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