Judge dismisses Lipscomb's lawsuit against Abele

Posted at 6:40 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 23:18:53-05

A struggle for power in Milwaukee County had its day in court. A judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the County Board Chairman against County Executive Chris Abele. But that doesn't mean it is over.

There is a major question over who can give raises in Milwaukee County. The county executive says he has the authority. Right now a judge has not changed that.

"Defendants motion to dismiss is hereby granted," says Judge William Sosnay.

With that ruling, the judge threw out a lawsuit brought by Milwaukee County Board Chair Theo Lipscomb against County Executive Chris Abele.

Lipscomb sued Abele saying the county executive does not have the authority to give raises - only the county board does for certain leaders. The board set a cap of $120,000 and Abele gave raises above it.

"We continue to believe that he has overreached his authority, the judge did not dismiss that fact," Lipscomb says.

The judge tossed the case because of a technicality. He said a lawsuit over who can give raises in the county should not have come from Lipscomb personally. It should have been filed by him on behalf of the board. Abele says the board is still mad that they are part time members and this was politics.

"We don't think there is a lot of merit in this case at all. We do think, we know that county taxpayers just paid a whole lot of money to find that out," says Abele.

Lipscomb says Wisconsin statute lays out that the county executive has to follow county board authority on the matter of raises.

The board chair says the lawsuit will be re-filed. He plans to do that possible as soon as Tuesday.