Jim Schmitt
Schmitt at the groundbreaking of the Milo Huempfner Veterans Affairs Clinic in Green Bay in 2011.
47th Mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin
In office
April 1, 2003 – April 15, 2019
Preceded byPaul Jadin
Succeeded byEric Genrich
Personal details
Born (1958-06-07) June 7, 1958 (age 62)
Two Rivers, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Dona Degenhardt
Children3
ResidenceGreen Bay, Wisconsin
Alma materSt. Norbert College (B.A.)
ProfessionBusiness owner

James J. Schmitt (born June 7, 1958) is an American politician and businessman from Wisconsin. A Republican, Schmitt served as the mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin, from 2003 to 2019, becoming the city's longest-serving mayor.

Personal life

The fourth of 11 children born to James and Mary (née Gleichner) Schmitt in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, he attended Roncalli High School and St. Norbert College[1] He is an active Roman Catholic, and his brother went into the religious life.[2]

In 2011 he was recognized by the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board as Person of the Year.[3]

Career

Business

In the private sector, Schmitt was president of Famis Manufacturing Inc. and in 1997 received the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award.[4]

Politics

Schmitt served two consecutive terms on the Brown County Board of Supervisors.[when?] On April 1, 2003 he was elected the 41st mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin, succeeding Paul Jadin who had not sought re-election.[5]

In 2007, Schmitt was re-elected with 70% of the vote and won again in April 2011.[4] He serves on the Advisory Board of both the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.[4]

On February 17, 2015, Schmitt received 51 percent of the vote in a three-way primary. He went on to defeat Tom DeWane 53% to 47%.[6] With this victory, Schmitt extended his tenure to 16 years and overtook Sam Halloin as the longest-serving mayor in Green Bay history.[7][8]

Campaign finance investigation

In January 2015, Green Bay city council Aldermen Chris Wery, Guy Zima, and Andy Nicholson alleged that Schmitt accepted as much as $10,000 in illegal donations for his mayoral campaign.[9] Schmitt contended that the errors were not intentional, and handed his records over to the Brown County District Attorney and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to be audited.[10] Because of a potential conflict of interest, the Brown County District Attorney turned the records over to the Milwaukee County District Attorney.[10]

In September 2016, Schmitt agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement to three misdemeanor charges, including false statements to an election official, accepting campaign contributions not belonging to the reported contributor, and accepting campaign contributions in excess of state limits. He was subsequently convicted on these criminal charges and sentenced to a monetary forfeiture and community service.[11]

It was found that 17 individuals had donated more than the $1,040 contribution limit, and there were two corporate donations, which are illegal under state election laws.[12]

On February 20, 2017, the Common Council held a vote on the removal of Schmitt over campaign finance violations. While a majority of the 12 member board voted for removal, 9 votes were necessary to remove the mayor from office. As only 8 voted for removal, he retained his seat by one vote.[13]

Family

James J. Schmitt married Dona Degenhardt on May 26, 1990. They have three daughters and had one child who died in infancy.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "James J. Schmitt profile". City of Green Bay. Archived from the original on May 26, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  2. ^ "Green Bay mayor invites Pope Francis to city". Compass News. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "Editorial: Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt named Person of the Year". Gannett. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "About the Mayor" Archived October 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, greenbaywi.gov; accessed January 30, 2015.
  5. ^ "Alliance Cities Elect New Mayors". The Wisconsin Alliance of Cities. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  6. ^ "Schmitt wins Green Bay mayor race". Fox 11 News. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Primary results, wrn.com; accessed February 23, 2015.
  8. ^ Schmitt and DeWane to face each other, greenbaypressgazette.com; accessed February 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Clare Kaley (January 4, 2015). "Mayor Schmitt, Aldermen Request Audit of Campaign Finance Reports". WBAY-TV. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Rhonda Roberts (January 12, 2015). "Green Bay City Clerk Turns Over Mayor's Records for Audit". WBAY-TV. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Adam Rodewald (September 12, 2016). "Attorney: Schmitt won't resign as Green Bay mayor". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  12. ^ Ben Krumholz (September 7, 2016). "'I have made mistakes': Green Bay mayor charged in campaign probe". WLUK-TV. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "Schmitt narrowly survives removal vote". Press Gazette Media. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Jadin
Mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin
2003 - 2019
Succeeded by
Eric Genrich