Ripples Continue Through the Community From Joe Luginbill | WisCommunity

Ripples Continue Through the Community From Joe Luginbill

January 31, 2020 - 1:57pm
Joe Luginbill

This morning local TV station WQOW announced that the Eau Claire Police Department into the finances of Joe Luginbill's family foundation in October.

Two of Joe Luginbill's friends and associates made statements today about the disappearance of Joe Luginbill from the local scene. As we had previously reported, Zoe Roberts is campaigning for re-election to the county board and Luginbill on her staff as treasurer. After the revelations of last week she replaced Luginbill on her campaign with UWEC Professor Selika Lawton. Today Roberts released this statement:

In the coming days and weeks we're going to learn a lot about Joe Luginbill and his dealings. Regretfully all I ever tried to be was a friend. I never knew of the things we're all learning about now. I feel shocked, betrayed, and deeply hurt. I sincerely hope he is brought to justice for any crimes he may have perpetrated on members of our community. Every day is a new revelation, and it appears as though I simply didn't know who he really is. But I wanted to believe in the vision of the goodness he promised to bring to Eau Claire. Had I known beforehand of these dirty dealings I would have cut ties with him long ago.

We need to remember that lots of good people have been affected by this in numerous ways. Some people lost their jobs, others lost money, and some were left out on the streets. My campaign, which is a small one, lost nearly $591 so far because we had to reprint literature with a new Treasurer. Thank you for helping me fix this ; cursor: pointer; font-family: inherit;" class="profileLink" data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/user.php?id=100000897386659&extragetparams=%7B%22__tn__%22%3A%22%2CdK-R-R%22%2C%22eid%22%3A%22ARCtHJhIRh90Q9OBH2TPkotJnXkKsJui5_MSSHUMIkkn4HgV6rSGfXq9Zlvy7u0leJQTxKdb2SVd3up5%22%2C%22fref%22%3A%22mentions%22%7D" data-hovercard-prefer-more-content-show="1">Selika Lawton! I cannot thank you enough for stepping in and helping me at a difficult time.

I don't wish to speculate as to outcomes. This is an ongoing investigation both by the Police Department, and investigative journalists. The truth will come out!

But our community, though badly bruised and disheartened, needs to move forward. Joe has betrayed our trust, but our hearts will not be broken. We should be focusing on righting the wrongs done to the people upon which he preyed.

Thank you all!

; cursor: pointer; font-family: inherit;" class="profileLink" data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/user.php?id=100005922161838&extragetparams=%7B%22__tn__%22%3A%22%2CdK-R-R%22%2C%22eid%22%3A%22ARA4xqpsjyV-bmgzSYrbPDtfaBPkddrYNTh2ps3SFrs83CZztCNOMnB9cLeMwiz09frinR4sFRz50G44%22%2C%22fref%22%3A%22mentions%22%7D" data-hovercard-prefer-more-content-show="1">Zoe Roberts

Earlier this week a local podcast, Cool and Unusual Punishment released a special podcast episode about the Luginbill story, which called out local media for a lack of fact-checking on Luginbill's back story and made several as-yet-unpublished allegations, most strikingly the claim that the  was prompted by Luginbill blackmailing her with information he had about Kincaid. Although this is at this point simply an allegation, several people have confirmed off-the-record that they have knowledge that this story is likely true. The allegation is that this occurred in order to pass the presidency of the council over to Luginbill's friend Andrew Werthmann. This morning Werthmann released this statement on Facebook:

#1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; background-color: initial;">The recent news about Joe Luginbill has made me feel upset, betrayed, confused and heartbroken. I trusted him. I believed him. I supported him politically. I considered him a close friend. It’s deeply saddening for me to share that this past week has changed everything.

This story continues to unwind in a disturbing way. Many of Luginbill's friends I have spoken to seem to be moving from feelings of shock and concern for Joe to a sense that they have all been betrayed, and of profound disappointment. 

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Steve Hanson
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