As a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Ed Fallone has been vocal in touting his non-profit and community experience.
"I've been very active in the Latino community. I've been involved in non-profits doing anti-gang activity. I've been in after-school program non-profits, legal services to immigrants. So I bring a wealth of experiences working in the community in addition to my legal experience. And I think that that's a good as a judge to have that real world background."
-Wisconsin Public Television, January 5, 2013
But in 2001, as President of a social services organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Ed Fallone was confronted with the news that the group's Executive Director, Modesto Fontanez, was actually a founder of the Latin Kings gang in Milwaukee and was still on parole for a cocaine drug conviction. But Ed Fallone called the news "unfounded suspicions" and expressed "complete faith and confidence" in Fontanez.
When Fontanez’s gang involvement prevented the Center from receiving a $192,000 federal anti-crime grant and $75,000 in funding from the County for a new soccer complex, Fallone again stood by Fontanez, saying "I have every faith in him."
It was only when Fontanez, married and in his 40's, knocked up a 19 year-old client of the organization that Fallone reluctantly acted. He said he accepted his resignation "with regret." The obviously troubled woman went on to have twins. She ended up being charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the death of one twin and Fontanez gained partial custody of the surviving child.
The entire saga is tragic. And it leaves many unanswered questions for Ed Fallone. How much did Fallone know about Fontanez’s criminal background and gang history when he was employed at the Latino Community Center? And once he did learn, how come Fallone stood by Fontanez when the Center lost out on significant grants directly because of Fontanez?
And why was it "with regret" that Fallone finally accepted Fontanez’s resignation?
Ed Fallone has repeatedly supported a drug dealing former gang member on parole who had sex with a vulnerable client. Yet, he criticizes Justice Roggensack for recusing herself in a case of "he said she said" in which she was a material witness. Which incident raises more questions about a candidate's judgement?