After County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic blew off Senate President Mike Ellis’ request for a straight answer on whether the County Board was involved in secret negotiations with a de-certified union, Ellis blasted the Chairwoman's answer as being "striking in its evasiveness."
Ellis said Chairwoman Dimitrijevic’s response "has done more to advance the cause of Assembly Bill 85 than anything Representative Sanfelippo has done."
Ellis' letter to Dimitrijevic reads in part:
"The contact administrator for AFSCME Council 48 stated in the April 11, 2013 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it was "not a secret" that the union was in "ongoing discussions" and "negotiating" with the County. Another supervisor has said similar. Even more upsetting is that she contradicts the records of the Milwaukee County Board. The minutes of the March 14, 2013 meeting of the Committee on Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee states that the Committee met in closed session related to "deliberation, negotiation or renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements."
"In the face of this evidence, it is mind-boggling that she claims that there were no negotiations. When I come to Madison, I don’t check my brain at the bus depot. I know when I’m being played.
"Many Republicans have been torn between the legitimate aims of local control and efficient government. Protecting local control is one thing. Protecting arrogance, obstruction and possibly illegal activity is quite another."
Last week, Journal Sentinel blogger Aaron Rodriguez broke the story that the County Board was involved in secret negotiations with de-certified union AFSCME Council 48.
When County Supervisor Deanna Alexander attempted to blow the whistle that Milwaukee County lawyers strongly advised against negotiating, a fellow board member tried to put a gag order on her.
By Friday, the media was finally catching on and lawmakers such as Sen. Ellis were asking tough questions of County Board Chair Dimitrijevic.