Jury acquits Johnny Thomas in bribery trial
MILWAUKEE - A jury acquitted former Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny Thomas of bribery and misconduct charges on Friday.
The jury deliberated for ninety minutes before reaching a verdict.
"I really felt it was an unfair (case)," juror Rebekah Turner told reporters afterward. "It was pretty much a waste of tax dollars."
"I hope (Thomas) seeks office again. I would vote for him."
Sachin Chheda, a consultant and spokesman for Johnny Thomas, told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure" that Thomas is relieved by the jury's not guilty verdict.
"It has been a very difficult experience for him and his wife and his kids..." explained Chheda.
Chheda said that Thomas maintained his innocence throughout the investigation. "When the jury came back so quickly and so emphatically...it was very clear for them that John was innocent and needed to be found not guilty."
Johnny Thomas was running for Milwaukee city comptroller, but abandoned the campaign after he was charged with two felonies in this case.
Chheda said that Thomas is still interested in public service, but wants to spend some time with his friends and family. "I don't think the short-term answer is public service," believes Chheda. "But it's something I know he will consider in the future."
The former county supervisor testified in his trial that he took $500 last December -- thinking it was a legitimate campaign donation.
County administrator Pat Farley wore a wire when talking to Thomas about county contracts, and campaign donations.
"Knowing Pat Farley's background, I felt comfortable that Pat wouldn't mislead me into a compromising situation," testified Thomas.
Thomas said he tried to clarify with Farley that he didn't want to mix the contract with his campaign for comptroller.
"I had no intentions of leveraging the FA contract for my own personal gain or for the gain for my campaign."