By Drew Olson Special to Published Mar 14, 2009 at 4:20 PM


Just when it seemed that John Norquist was settling into his role as "Mayor for Life," his world was rocked when former staff assistant Marilyn Figueroa accused him of sexual harassment and filed a complaint with the state Equal Rights Division.

Part of Figueora's harassment charge centered on an apple that appeared on her desk, which she claims triggered a nervous breakdown. Figueroa alleged that Norquist had once told her to place an apple between her legs and bring it to him.

Norquist admitted to a five-year consensual affair and eventually announced that he would not seek a fifth term as mayor. He ended up paying Figueroa a $375,000 settlement from his campaign and personal coffers.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a beloved figure in Milwaukee and nationally for his reformed-minded views of the Catholic Church, hastened his retirement in 2002 when it was revealed that he had a sexual relationship with graduate student Paul Marcoux, who received $450,000 in "hush money" from Milwaukee Archdiocese coffers.

Weakland would later confess to transferring priests with a history of sexual misconduct back into churches without alerting parishioners, destroying incriminating mental health records and other offenses that have led to numerous lawsuits and payouts, including a $16 million settlement for 10 California residents who were victimized by a transferred priest.

This story contained all the elements of a lousy made-for-TV movie. Packers all-pro tight end Mark Chmura was charged with child enticement and third-degree sexual assault after a 17-year-old Catholic Memorial student accused him of assaulting her at a post-prom party that included underage alcohol consumption, beer pong and elements of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Chmura was acquitted after a nine-day trial that received gavel-to-gavel coverage on CourtTV, which pointed out inconsistencies in the story of Chmura's accuser, played up the litigating styles of defense attorney Gerald Boyle and prosecutor Paul Bucher and imprinted the phrase "sexy bitches" into the local lexicon because that's how a group of female Memorial students referred to themselves.

Chmura, whose Packers career ended due to a neck injury, later admitted that his behavior "wasn't something a married man should do."

Norquist's mayoral opponent in 1992, Gregory L. Gracz, saw his campaign derailed by high-profile sexual harassment allegations.

When Gracz ran for mayor, Racine firefighter Melissa Fojtik went public with accusations that he had harassed her and exposed himself to her after she refused to have sex with him.

Gracz, who at the time was president of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Local 215, denied the allegations and ended up losing the election. Years later, the incident again hounded Gracz when he was compelled to withdraw from consideration for a position at MATC.

In mid-January of this year, police arrested Racine Mayor Gary Becker at Brookfield Square Mall. Becker, 51, is accused of arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl at the mall's food court for the purposes of sex.

Becker, who was caught in an online sting operation, is charged with eight felonies including child enticement, three counts of possession of child pornography, exposing a child to harmful materials, attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and misconduct in public office. If convicted on all the charges he faces up to 164 years imprisonment.

In October, 1984, a dancer at the Marquee Club in Milwaukee accused Packers wide receiver James Lofton and running back Eddie Lee Ivery of sexually assaulting her in a dressing room. Lofton and Ivery asserted that the acts were consensual. Neither player ended up being charged in the incident due to a lack of evidence. Two years later, Lofton was charged with second-degree sexual assault following an incident in the stairwell of a Green Bay nightclub. He was found not guilty of that charge.

New York Yankees utility man Luis Polonia was arrested Aug. 16, 1989 for having sex with a 15-year-old girl at The Pfister Hotel. Polonia was convicted and ended up serving 60 days in jail following that season.

The Plasmatics' Wendy O. Williams was a punk singer, actress and performance artist known for detonating equipment and wielding chainsaws on stage.

In 1981, she brought her act to The Palms nightclub, 2616 W. State St., and was arrested for obscenity after simulating a sex act with a sledgehammer. Williams, who often wore duct tape and strategically-placed whipped cream as her stage costume, scuffled with police during her arrest and was bruised in the process. She ended up being acquitted.

In July, 2006, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brian Shackelford was arrested on suspicion of third-degree sexual assault. Shackelford, who was sent to the minors after the incident, reportedly met his accuser on The charges were dropped.

Two months after the Shackelford incident, Milwaukee Police investigated battery and sexual assault claims against former NBA star Latrell Sprewell. A 21-year-old woman told police she was having sex with Sprewell aboard his yacht, Milwaukee's Best, when the former NBA star began to choke her. Police observed marks on the woman's neck, but did not issue charges in the case.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.