City of Delafield - One month before the April municipal elections, a controversy has erupted in City Hall over about $13,000 in checks the city issued to mayoral candidate Kent Attwell two years ago as part of his role with neighbors in a joint Nagawicka Lake dreding project with the city.
City officials are demanding that Attwell produce cancelled checks and other documents that describe how he spent the money in 2011 and 2012. Mayor Ed McAleer said Attwell initially refused to cooperate with City Administrator Tom Hafner.
City officials began the inquiry into the checks after it was discovered Attwell had not filed, nor had the city required, customary documents justifying the issuance of the checks and describing how the money was spent.
The inquiry started when Alderman Tim Aicher raised questions about why Attwell received the checks.
Attwell and five neighbors paid about a $150,000 to privately dredge along thier residential shorelines. The city contributed abougt $20,000 because a city owned parcel of shoreline was located in the midst of the dreding area.
Attwell told Lake Country Publications he would provide the city whatever documents are available to him but he added, "It is very frustrating because this is totally politically motivated. They are trying to create a controversy where a controversy doesn't exist."
Attwell said City Attorney James Hammes and former City Administrator Tim Schuenke were "100 per cent involved" in issuing the checks to him and were fully aware of how the money was being spent.
Attwell said he was being reimbursed for payments he made to contractors and other expenses related to the project in accordance with contracts with the city.
McAleer said the issue will be discussed at the Common Council meeting Monday, April 3. He denied there was any political motivation in raising the issue with the council.
"We have a policy of open and transparent government. The Common Council approved the project and If I failed to tell them what we have found out, you would be the first one to ask my why I wasn't keeping the council informed," he told a reporter.
McAleer is expected to endorse Alderwoman Michele De Yoe, Attwell's opponent in the April 1 general election. McAleer is not seeking reelection after serving nearly 14 years as mayor.