Madison
67° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Advertisement

Walker: Accountability, stability at WEDC a priority

Published On: Dec 04 2012 07:51:38 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 04 2012 07:52:17 AM CST
Gov. Scott Walker
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. -

Gov. Scott Walker said the job-creation agency he pushed to create will be more accountable after a series of problems and organizational shakeups.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. didn't assign staff members to track about $69 million in state loans, agency leaders have said, calling it a "misstep." More than $12 million of those loans are now at risk because companies are behind on their repayments, news reports have indicated.

WEDC's new leaders -- handpicked by Walker after previous managers resigned in recent months -- said they were hiring an outside financial institution and accounting firm to provide oversight of the loan programs and financial records.

"We want to be accountable (to) the taxpayers, but we also want to be accountable for the board of directors," Walker said. "What sorts of decisions are to be made for the future -- which (loan programs) are truly effective in creating new jobs and which ones are not."

Walker's comments came as he toured show exhibits at a hunting trade show in the Wisconsin Dells.

The WEDC, created in 2011, replaced the former Wisconsin Department of Commerce, which Walker administration officials have said was inefficient and ineffective at job creation.

But problems have plagued the WEDC in recent months.

The agency received criticism for using $10 million in U.S. Housing and Urban Development money without federal authority to do so, and offering state tax credits to a company that was competitively bidding for a state contract, WISC-TV reported previously.

Paul Jadin, the former WEDC chief executive, resigned Nov. 1 to take a job at Thrive, the economic development group in south-central Wisconsin.

"We've come in and we've had stability at the top -- much longer than they had (at the former Commerce Department)," Walker said. "But, with a new agency, there are some issues to be dealt with, and this is one of those."

Advertisement
  • Edward Nero1

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Officers charged in Freddie Gray case

    Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges Monday, May 23, in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, Judge Barry Williams ruled after a bench trial. Nero is one of six officers tried in connection in the case and the second to be tried. Here is a closer look at the cases of six officers charged in Gray's death.

  • PHOTOS: Birds, birds, birds!

    Birdwatchers spotted a variety of the feathered critters on a hike in Lake Mills Saturday morning. Ed Hahn, education co-chair for the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology said some were common backyard birds and others were rare sights.

  • Mark Schilling

    PHOTOS: Badger Honor Flight brings 2,000th veteran to D.C.

    A plane headed from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., Saturday had aboard its 2,000th veteran to visit the national memorial sites in the nation's capital.

    • The Badger Honor Flight is part of a national network that works to bring WWII and terminally ill veterans from any war to see the memorials that were erected in their honor.
    • Visit badgerhonorflight.org for more information.
Advertisement