I posted last week regarding Wisconsin republican State Senator Randy Hopper, and his mistress who was given a state job at a rate of 35% above the person who had the job immediately before her.
Well some additional news has come out tonight that may cause some indegestion for the senator, Govenor Scott Walker's office and the department that hired her.
Before that I am happy to reprt that the story is finally getting some traction in the mainstream press. First this weekend in a paper in the UK(!) the today with Keith Olbermann's FOK News, National Journal, a front page diary here, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, Firedoglake, and others.
But the place that has taken the lead on this story from the start is the Madison, WI ABC affiliate WKOW. They have a new posting tonight:
State officials said a state worker’s expanded duties and her past experience accounted for her thirty five percent salary increase over the pay of the employee who previously held her position.
Officials said Valerie Cass, 26, who sources identified as a woman involved in a relationship with Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac), was hired Feb. 7 by the department of regulation and licensing to a limited term, communciations specialist position at an hourly rate of $20.35. The hourly rate is equivalent to an annual salary of $42,328. Officials said the position was vacated by Robyn Lockett on Jan. 19. Officials said Lockett’s hourly rate was $15.00, equivalent to an annual salary of $31,200.
“Mrs. Cass’s compensation was set based on her professional experience in communications, her degree in journalism and the expansion of job duties to include policy research and analysis,” DRL spokesperson David Carlson wrote in a statement.
But here is the thing that may cause a problem for the Walker administration. It took me two miutes of googling the name Robyn Lockett to discover that she was never an employee at the Department of Regulation and Licensing, but rather she was an intern!
Here is Ms. Lockett's personal web page:
I am recently was a communication intern at The Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing where I learned more about non-profit organizations so that I can start a similar program to Strive Media Institute.
And here is her linkedin page:
Past Communication Intern at Department of Regulation and Licensing
Hawk Squad Leader at First Year Experience
Summer Assistant at ResLife
(I am not including the link because the url was very long.)
So here are the new questions and issues that are raised by this information.
Was Ms. Lockett paid as an intern? If not, then Hopper's mistress did not replace her, this is a new position that was created for her, which is totally different that what the department has claimed to this point.
Or did they replace a paid intern with a paid employee?
I look forward to finding out more.