This story continues to evolve practically everyday. Brian Deschane, son of the vice president and lobbyist for the Wisconsin Builders Association, resigned from his post a couple of days after the governor demoted him. Perhaps the pressures of the job were too much or maybe the white-hot light of public scrutiny was too great.
As previously reported, Brian Deschane received a job for which he was unqualified in the Walker administration. It was alleged Brian received the job because Jerry Deschane and his organization contributed over $120,000 to WalkerÂ’s campaign for governor. Brian received a promotion and a $16,500 raise after working for only two months.
Once the national public got a hold of this information, the administration reversed course. Brian was demoted back to his original position and lost his raise. This is the second time the governor and his administration have been accused of handing out jobs as political favors. The first job went to state Senator Randy HopperÂ’s (R-Fond du Lac) mistress; she was actually qualified for her position.
Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Brian Deschane submitted his resignation letter today to the department of commerce. The reason for DeschaneÂ’s resignation is not known. It is also not known why he decided to resign instead of taking the demotion.
It is possible Brian was forced out even though the governor demoted him back to his previous position. Additional information came out about the position after the news first broke about DeschaneÂ’s qualifications.
Two highly qualified candidates were quickly passed over in favor of the less qualified Deschane. According to the Journal Sentinel, Â“The first, Oscar Herrera, is a former state cabinet secretary under Republican Gov. Scott McCallum with a doctoral degree and eight years' experience overseeing the cleanup of petroleum-contaminated sites. The second, Bernice Mattsson, is a professional engineer who served since 2003 in the post to which Deschane was appointed.Â” Not only were they passed over; they didnÂ’t even get an interview.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), who has been a thorn in the governorÂ’s side since the collective bargaining bill was introduced, is concerned. Barca said, Â“The governor does have the right - within what passes the smell test - to appoint who he wants. What we find offensive is when you give people a huge pay increase when they don't appear to be qualified.Â”
Â“If he is going back to that job, I want to make sure he was properly hired for that job in the first place. I am concerned about whether he was hired properly under the civil service system.Â”
Barca will not get the chance to investigate DeschaneÂ’s hiring since he is gone. This situation has become an embarrassment for Scott Walker and his administration. It detracts from what he wants to do as people are more focused on his blunders than his policies and initiatives. The administration has added another arrow to the quiver of those seeking to remove Republicans, and maybe later, the governor from office during a recall.
Photo Source: Think Progress