The Wisconsin State Journal reported over the weekend that a private company hired by the Scott Walker administration to provide janitorial services in the state capitol building has been fired - for damaging the expensive marble floors in the building.

State officials have fired a cleaning company they believe may have damaged or stained marble floors in the Capitol, said Wisconsin Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis.

The damage appears to have occurred when a cleaning solution or other liquid leaked from a floor-scrubbing machine operated by the contractor, Marquis said.

Prior to the Walker administration, cleaning of the capitol facilities was performed by unionized state employees with years of expertise in cleaning and maintaining the unusual and delicate stones.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel picked up the story and reports that it has left messages with the Department of Administration (DOA) seeking the name of the contractor but has not yet received a response.

Speculation from commenters on the story is that the company is Peterson Cleaning, Inc. of Rockford, Illinois. That's right: Illinois. Maybe that's why the Walker administration is so slow to name names.

While not confirmed by the DOA, online records show that a contract to provide cleaning services in the capitol was awarded to Peterson Cleaning in August, 2012.

You might recall that when Walker's DOA was asked to provide an estimate of damages after massive, peaceful demonstrations were held in the capitol by labor unions and their supporters in early 2011, they initially gave a figure of 7.5 million dollars. This was the document they provided when they were asked to back up their claim:


It turns out that the cost of repairs was about $270,000. Most of that was for accelerated wear and tear on walls that needed cleaning. The only significant damage to the floors was from electrical tape used by television crews to tape down their cables.

Damage to floors caused by Fox News? Yes. Damage to floors caused by cheap, non-union cleaning service? Yes. Damage to floors caused by tens of thousands of pro-Labor demonstrators? Nope.

Originally posted to Giles Goat Boy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:45 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Badger State Progressive.

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