Christensen is still in critical condition and has been described as "clinging to life."
To resolve the issue, Karger and Chief Deputy Scott Parks are taking only two steps.
One is to finally allow the correction officers to carry tasers, like they've been asking for for years.
The other is to name a citizen panel to "study security conditions at the jail."
At the time, I expressed concern on who would pick and who would be the members of this panel:
And while the citizen panel is a good idea, I would question how it will be decided who will be part of that panel.The panel has now been named and, unfortunately, my concerns were well founded.
If Karger is in charge of it, forget it. He's the idiot that caused this mess and he's already trying to escape accountability for his malfeasance.
The most responsible way to handle this would be to have the County Board appoint the panel, but there should be some voice given to the union, either in selecting some of the panel members or being on the panel itself.
Parks has named the members of this panel. They are:
- Former Rothschild Police Chief Bill Schremp who was willing to close down his own police department and merge it with Wausau's police, in order to save money;
- Mount View Care Center administrator Lori Koeppel who was praised by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce for her cost cutting in the care of vulnerable adults;
- Intercity State Bank President Randy Balk - c'mon, he's a bank president! Where do you think his priorities lie? Not to mention he's on the executive committee for the local Chamber of Commerce;
- LandArt owner Paul Jones who is also a director at the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce; and
- Daily Herald Media General Manager Michael Beck - The Daily Herald is a Gannet owned paper. Gannet papers were the ones that practiced McCarthyism on public employees as well as their own employees, that is when they weren't busy laying them off.
It come pretty obvious pretty quickly that Karger and Parks are working together on covering up the effects of their agenda of austerity by appointing these people.
Take a look at what each of them had to say about this panel:
"The intent wasn't to get a panel of experts about jails. What we want is people who are capable of understanding the information presented to them," Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger explained.One of the panel members, Jones, also iterated the business theme.
"The correctional facility is a lot like a business, and we're looking to be successful in that business and these individuals bring something to the table to show they've been successful," Parks said.
This automatically puts them on the wrong footing. Prisons are a governmental operation and do not necessarily correlate well with a business paradigm. If they did, we wouldn't have seen all the riots in private prisons in which guards were beaten, raped and/or killed.
The reason that Karger and Parks picked these people instead of experts in jails is that they want their austerity justified and to absolve themselves of their role in Christensen's injuries.
But Parks has another motivation as well.
He has put his name in to replace Sheriff Randy Hoenisch, who had recently retired under suspicious circumstances. Governor Scott Walker is expected to name the replacement Sheriff in May. Being a good acolyte of austerity, being dismissive of public workers and making this serious problem just go away would elevate him in Walker's eyes.
For people like Karger, it's all about the money and power, no matter who gets hurt. Always has been and always will be.
If you wish to help Correction Officer Julie Christensen, there has been a trust fund established in her name at Integrity First Bank, 101 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403. Their phone number is (715) 845-0900.