Governor, not police, informed of recall petition destruction - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Governor, not police, informed of recall petition destruction


MADISON (WKOW) -- Edgewood College officials notified the campus community of the destruction of a recall petition against Governor Walker, but a campus official said the police were not notified.

But on the twitter account of the student believed responsible for the potentially criminal act, a confessional message was sent to the governor's account:  "Today I ripped up a petition form to recall you." 

In an email to students and staff, Edgewood College Dean of Students Maggie Balistreri-Clarke wrote campus security was notified someone had destroyed a recall petition with signatures.   The email notes such action is a felony crime.

Associate Dean of Students Ryan Bouchard told 27 News as students gathered recall signatures in a campus dining commons November 15, a student took a petition and ripped it up. Bouchard said campus policy allowed the signature collection in the common area.

Bouchard said campus officials have identified the student allegedly responsible for the petition destruction, and the student faces possible sanction from the institution.

"Once the college gets an incident report, we act quick.  We do have a judicial process to address such a thing."

While Bouchard said campus officials have supported student witnesses to the incident,  officials have not contacted Madison police.

"Our obligation is to support the student who was impacted."

Bouchard said student witnesses were encouraged to contact police and said he believed that contact took place . But Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said there's no record of such a report.   

One of the student witnesses,  18-year old freshman Zach Madden told 27 News witnesses have consulted with representatives of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin but no police report has been filed.

Madden said he hopes consequences of this act go beyond the campus.

"I feel a crime was committed." 

Gubernatorial spokesperson Cullen Werwie has yet to respond to a call seeking comment on what was done with the information sent to the governor via Twitter.

The student believed involved in the potential campus crime is from De Pere.   Calls and Facebook messages to the student have not been returned.

Liberal advocacy organization One Wisconsin Now announced Tuesday a reward fund to encourage people with information that could lead to arrests and convictions in connection with recall petition destruction to come forward.   Another instance of petition destruction in Madison took place last week,  when police officials said a man tore-up a petition after pulling over on Midvale Boulevard and talking with a petition circulator.

Bouchard said there are crimes campus officials report to authorities.  "If it's a threatening situation, we will and should go directly to police."

A DPW spokesperson has yet to respond to a request for comment from 27 News on why party representatives have failed to report the campus incident to authorities.


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