Key witnesses testify in Johnny Thomas bribery trial
WTMJ News Team
Lacey Crisp reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- Jurors Wednesday heard from some of the key witnesses in the trial of former Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas.
Thomas is accused of taking a bribe last December.
The lead investigator and the man who wore the wire testified Wednesday.
They explained why they started the investigation into Thomas, and how they did it.
It was County Administrator Pat Farley who went to the district attorney's office with questions about how Supervisor Thomas was handling contract bids for the county.
That's when Farley agreed to wear a tape recorder and talked to Thomas about the contracts.
Investigators set up a meeting, and that's when Farley gave Thomas $500, saying it was campaign donation from a company hoping to win a bid.
"The money was the biggest thing...To get Thomas to schedule it for a vote," said Farley
"The information that I heard on the audio caused me to believe that Mr. Thomas was soliciting a bribe in order to schedule a contract," testified investigator Aaron Weiss, an investigator for the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office. "I monitored the legislator's website and saw that the next day the matter had been scheduled (by) Mr. Thomas."
But when investigators tried to set up a meeting between Thomas and an undercover agent to give him another $500, Thomas emailed saying the money could be sent to him on his campaign's website.
Thomas was running for Milwaukee city comptroller at the time, a race he abandoned after he was charged with two felonies.