Was the Capitol damage $7-million worth of perjury? | Wis.Community

Was the Capitol damage $7-million worth of perjury?

Thursday, during a court hearing to determine the rules for public access to the Wisconsin State Capitol, Walker administration officials told a judge that it might cost $7-million or more to clean up "damage" done by protesters who had taped up signs on the building's marble.

Many observers found that incredible.

Friday, after the hearing ended, the court order had been issued, and protesters had been painted in media reports as having caused $7-million in damage, the Walker people abandoned that clearly crazy claim.

"I think that's more of a worst-case scenario," said Jeff Plale, the former Democratic state senator who is now the state facilities administrator. "There are other estimates."

     In court, the state cited concerns about the statehouse expressed by Michele Curran, an architectural historian with the National Park Service who coordinates national historic landmarks in Wisconsin...

     But Curran said she didn't know how the state had arrived at its damage figures. She said only a professional cleaning service experienced in such work and familiar with the situation in the Capitol could accurately estimate cleanup costs. But Plale said Friday he wasn't aware of the state receiving any such estimate yet.

On Thursday, the Joural Sentinell reported:

Earlier in court, state officials said that damage from the demonstration to the marble inside and outside the Capitol would cost an estimated $7.5 million: $6 million for damage inside, $1 million for damage outside and $500,000 for additional expenses.

     But the state provided no explanation for their figures or the kind of evidence that one expert said they would need for such a figure.

Officials said in court that the damage came from tape used for posting fliers and papers and other materials.

But DOA spokesman Carla Vigue said she could not immediately provide any detail about how state officials arrived at such a figure.

Here's one possible explanation: They made it up. And someone -- it's hard from the stories to tell who-- said that in court, presumably under oath.

There are a lot of questions to be asked and answered.

 Let's start with this one: Did someone from the Walker administration commit perjury?

Published

March 4, 2011 - 2:22pm

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