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Alderman Bob Donovan raised questions this week about whether a widely-circulated document relating to his 24-year-old disorderly conduct citation for "restroom peeping" at UW-Milwaukee is real, calling the narration of the incident on a local blog a "supposed document."
However, after visiting the Milwaukee County courthouse, OnMilwaukee confirmed the ticket, as well as the document with the narrative that Donovan called a "supposed ‘police record,’" are both part of the official court file in the case at the courthouse.
The narrative in the court file is a photocopy, not the original. UWM no longer has any documents relating to the case.
The police narrative has become the most controversial document as it includes a statement attributed to Donovan, which he has disputed.
It reads: "Donovan stated that he has frequented Mitchell Hall restroom for years for the purpose of either watching men masturbate, or to have sex with men in the restroom." The narrative says Donovan was observed "peeking through a hole the size of a nickel in a partition between two restroom stalls. I was occupying the stall that Donovan was peeking into. Donovan did this continually for about ten minutes."
Donovan responded on Facebook: "The fact is I have unequivocally maintained for 16 years that I absolutely did not make any of the comments attributed to me in the supposed document. The fact is the incident was a misunderstanding."
Details of the citation have been circulating on the web for years, where they were posted on political website, Blogging Blue, but only show a photocopy of the citation and a copy of what the blogger presents as the police narrative of the incident. Donovan claims he never saw the police narrative of the citation until it was resurrected in his aldermanic election eight years later. Both Milwaukee Magazine and the Journal Sentinel have subsequently reported on the incident, too, but they largely relied on the blogger's account.
On his Facebook campaign page, Donovan recalled the attacks in the 2000 aldermanic election and wrote, "Out of nowhere, they produced an additional document to the original citation – a supposed ‘police record’ – which they circulated widely throughout the aldermanic district in an effort to damage my bid and help theirs."
So what’s in the actual file? It still exists at the courthouse because UWM police cases are sent to Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
The 1992 court file, viewed by OnMilwaukee on Thursday, contained three colored carbon-copies of the citation, one copy of the case record and judgment docket, one copy of the recognizance from Milwaukee County circuit court, a blank copy of the recognizance, two copies of a search for Donovan’s criminal history, one copy of the citation payment receipt, and a photocopy of the citation and police narrative.
As to the ticket itself, Donovan wrote on his Facebook page recently: "To the incident in question: I was ticketed for disorderly conduct in 1992. As a result of the incident and ticketing I was embarrassed and did not pursue the matter further – in hindsight, I absolutely should have. As it was, I paid the ticket immediately to avoid further embarrassment and because I simply wanted to put the matter behind me."
Donovan did not contest the citation in court, and paid the $93 fine two weeks after his assigned court date.
The police narrative was the only document lacking an original copy of all the documents in the file. It also appeared to be scanned onto the photocopy of the citation, as the two are completely different documents. The hard copy of the citation did not include space for police narration on the back.
It’s also unclear who wrote the narrative, as it remains unsigned. The police narrative is typed, but not aligned with spaces provided for comment. There is also has no mention on the narrative form of being from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It just simply listed as "Police Report." The citation was stamped by the UWM Police Department, but the narrative was not.
Although, "B. Williams, UWM P.D." is listed as Complainant on the The Case Record and Judgement Docket, that name does not appear to match the signature on the police citation. There was not a printed name on the citation. There is a signature, but it’s difficult to decipher.
The citation shows a "disorderly conduct" violation received at 12:55 p.m. on Friday, June 19 1992 in Mitchell Hall. It is stamped by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of University Police with an illegible police signature.
A criminal background check was also included in this file. It was conducted by Officer Peters of UWM Police at 1:19 p.m. that day. The CIB (Criminal Investigation Bureau) and NCIC (national criminal record) background check came back clean. There are two Waukesha entries listed under the DOT traffic section.
Harry Halloway was the Assistant District Attorney at the time and John J. DiMotto was the presiding judge listed on the Case Record and Judgement Document. Donovan did not attend the non-mandatory court date and paid the $93 citation on July 29 of that year, the records show.
Donovan did not reply to an OnMilwaukee request for comment.
Bice vs. Donovan
Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a column about Donovan’s brushes with the law earlier this week. Two weeks prior to that, Donovan accused Bice being disrespectful and, at times, vulgar during the interview on his Facebook campaign page.
Bice, who denied those claims, invited OnMilwaukee to listen to the audio from his cell phone of the 26-minute interview which was conducted at the Milwaukee Police Association’s press conference endorsing Donovan for mayor. At that conference, Bice interviewed Donovan, Michael Crivello, head of Milwaukee Police Association, and Stephen C. Schumacher, Donovan’s social media director.
Despite Donovan’s post on social media, the raw recorded audio sounded calm and civil. No vulgar language or profanities were exchanged, and the room appeared quiet. Crivello appeared to be upset that Bice was late to the press conference and accused him of coming just for the interviews. Bice explained to Crivello that another Journal Sentinel reporter was on site during the press conference and was reporting on the endorsement. There was a break in the recording between Crivello’s and Schumacher’s interview. Bice said he was talking to others "off the record" about other issues.