Archive for Katy Venskus

Ex NARAL head must pay restitution for hand in the cookie jar $$$

Posted in Financial mismanagement, NARAL, Pro-choice law breakers with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2014 by saynsumthn

kelliconlin Under the agreement reached on Friday, the New York State Office of the Attorney General announced a settlement with Kelli Conlin, the former president of NARAL-NY Pro-Choice and its affiliated foundation, the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH), in connection with a lawsuit filed in June 2012 that charged Ms. Conlin with abusing her position and using charitable funds for her personal benefit. Under the terms of the settlement, which is subject to court approval, Ms. Conlin will be permanently barred from serving as a fiduciary of any not-for-profit organization registered in New York State. She has agreed to dismiss claims against NARAL that she asserted and will pay $20,000 in restitution to NARAL. The restitution is in addition to the $75,000 she paid in 2012 in connection with her plea to criminal charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The lawsuit charged that during her time as president, Conlin used NIRH funds to pay for personal expenses, including shopping sprees at luxury retailers, rental of a vacation home in the Hamptons, personal travel, dinners at fine restaurants and thousands of dollars worth of take-out meals from restaurants near her Brooklyn home. Prior to the suit, the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau also reached a separate agreement with NIRH and NARAL, requiring the organizations to adopt enhanced governance measures and financial controls, including stricter and more consistent review of expense spending by all the organization’s employees up to and including the president.

Conlin abruptly resigned from NARAL and NIRH after nearly 20 years in 2011. More here

NARAL Kelli COnlin Settlement

In November of 2009 NARAL’s Kelli Conlin supported Obama’s Health Care Bill. According to the description on NARAL’s YouTube page which has since been removed: On November 16, 2009, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference with various women’s health advocates to protest the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts amendment and demand that health care reform does not come at the price of women’s rights. NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Kelli Conlin spoke along with an impressive array of pro-choice advocates, including Senator Gillibrand, New York City Council Speaker Chris Quinn, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and feminist leader Gloria Steinem.

In 2010, KATY HERINGLAKE, who once had a job working in the state Capitol for state Sen. Jeff Plale, was “convicted of swiping $13,000 from National Abortion Rights Action League of Wisconsin,” Where she used to work.

Her name has been changed to Katy Venskus, where she lobbies for AT&T Wisconsin and Education Reform Now.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard reportedly charged Venskus with two felonies for allegedly using her lobbying company’s credit card on more than $15,000 in personal expenses.

Another Abortion Rights Leader from NARAL caught with hands in the cookie jar, supported ObamaCare

Posted in Financial mismanagement, NARAL, Pro-choice law breakers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2012 by saynsumthn

According to this article posted in the New York Times, Ex-Leader of Abortion-Rights Group Is Accused of Misspending and Published: June 29, 2012

The state attorney general’s office has accused a former leader of a prominent abortion-rights group of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of charitable money on shopping sprees, a Hamptons vacation rental, fine dining, hotels and other personal luxuries.

The accusation is included in a civil complaint filed in Manhattan on Thursday against Kelli Conlin, 54, who pleaded guilty a year ago to falsifying business records, a felony. Her criminal case closed without jail time after she repaid $75,000 in restitution to Naral Pro-Choice New York and its affiliated foundation, which she led from 1992 through 2010.

But David Nachman, enforcement section chief of the attorney general’s Charities Bureau, said Ms. Conlin’s spending actually amounted to “hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper benefits.”

The attorney general’s office is requesting that she repay all of it, with interest, and reimburse its own legal and investigative costs.

Here is NARAL’s Kelli Conlin supporting Obama’s Health Care Bill, according to the description on NARAL’s YouTube page: On November 16, 2009, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference with various women’s health advocates to protest the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts amendment and demand that health care reform does not come at the price of women’s rights. NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Kelli Conlin spoke along with an impressive array of pro-choice advocates, including Senator Gillibrand, New York City Council Speaker Chris Quinn, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and feminist leader Gloria Steinem.

LegalNewsline reports that According to IRS forms, Conlin allegedly grew her total compensation steadily until it reached close to $380,000 in 2010.

According to the NY Daily News, Conlin pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court last summer to a felony charge of filing a false document and agreed to pay $75,000 in restitution to her former employer.

It was a deal she worked out with District Attorney Cyrus Vance to avoid jailtime.

Schneiderman is going after what he says is the rest of the money she owes.

Schneiderman’s office reviewed the financial records of NARAL and its foundation after Conlin’s guilty plea.

Going back to 2006, investigators found that Conlin, who was paid a salary of $380,000 in her last year at Naral, had:

— Used an office credit card to make three purchases at Barney’s in early 2008 for a total of $20,446.84. Privately she admitted one of the purchases was for an “amazing” outfit for an annual NARAL fundraiser but on paper she dubbed them ‘event decor.’

— Rented a house for her partner and their twins in South Hampton for $17,000 in July 2009.

— Spent at least $50,000 in non-business related meals including 120 take-out sushi dinners and dinners at two of the city’s most expensive restaurants, Daniel and 11 Madison Park.

— Racked up $70,000 in expenses for car services.

Read Court Documents here

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But in 2010, we saw this type of theivory before with Pro-Abortion Leaders of NARAL
The blog: Political Capitalreorted taht

KATY HERINGLAKE, who once had a no-show job working in the state Capitol for state Sen. Jeff Plale, was “convicted of swiping $13,000 from National Abortion Rights Action League of Wisconsin,” Where she used to work.

Her name has been changed toKaty Venskus, where she lobbies for AT&T Wisconsin and Education Reform Now.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard reportedly charged Venskus, 34, of Oconomowoc, with two felonies for allegedly using her lobbying company’s credit card on more than $15,000 in personal expenses.

The complaint against Venskus, which was reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, says “she purchased $369 worth of steak from Badger Wholesale Foods for her family with an American Express card owned by Minneapolis-based Public Affairs Co., for which she had worked since January 2008. Venskus left the firm last year.”

Her lawyer, Stephen Meyer, reportedly told the Wisconsin State Journal, that the complaint contained “only allegations” and that the full story had not come out. She is quoted in the complaint as saying, “I’ve reimbursed everything, I’ve paid back all charges, and I’ve done nothing wrong.”

A watchdog report in 2010 states that Venskus, can still work the halls of the Capitol as one of at least eight registered lobbyists who have been convicted of crimes in Wisconsin. A review by the Journal Sentinel also turned up three additional lobbyists who signed deferred prosecution agreements that led to their charges being dismissed later.

At a time when special interest groups are spending record amounts for lobbyists to push their agendas – $36.2 million last year alone – Wisconsin has almost no rules or laws restricting criminals from lobbying. No lobbyist has had his or her license revoked or suspended for any reason for at least 20 years.

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Lest you think NARAL is the only one prone for these theives, you may have recalled reading this post on my blog about Planned Parenthood-

Should there be an investigation into tax funded Planned Parenthood clinics? Letter reveals PPGG’s “misappropriation and mismanagement of funds”

Looks like Planned Parenthood is dumping their affiliate PPGG just in the nick of time – should there be an investigation, after all Planned Parenthood gets millions of tax dollars per year???


Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s former employees blame the organization’s longstanding pattern of financial mismanagement, former PPGG CEO, Dian Harrison. Because of this, the national Planned Parenthood organization has announced it will divorce itself from the networks of clinics that serve patients in five Bay Area counties, citing fiscal and administrative problems with the local organization. Effective Sept. 3, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate must operate under another name, a representative of the national organization said that Planned Parenthood Golden Gate had failed to uphold the “standards and guidelines” by which each separately incorporated affiliate must abide, but that the details of the situation were confidential.

“They were not meeting our standards for administrative and fiscal management,” said Karen Ruffato, vice president of affiliate services for the national organization.

A report in the Bay Citizen:

The most recent tax documents filed with the I.R.S. suggest that PPGG has not only been losing money in recent years, but is in financial disarray. For the tax year ending June 30, 2009, it showed a loss of $2.8 million.

Yet, from financial information for the previous year, it’s unclear just how much money the organization lost because it filed three separate sets of numbers with the I.R.S. In the filings, losses ranged between nearly $1.9 and $2.8 million. Two different accounting firms signed off on the various filings.

Tax documents also show that the organization’s financial problems did not start with the catastrophic recession and California’s fiscal crisis, which has delayed MediCal reimbursements from the state. Tax documents for the year ending June 30, 2007 show that the organization lost $181,000 that year.

Yet, the organization’s fiscal problems date farther back. Documents associated with a 2004 accreditation review of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate show that the local affiliate did not meet the national federation’s financial standards for its affiliates. Of nine indicators of financial health, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate was given a “not met” rating for five of them. For instance, the affiliate had only 11.4 days of cash on hand, as opposed to the required 60 days.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America executives refused to comment on the accreditation documents on the grounds that they’re internal and confidential.
On Wednesday, the charitable trusts division of the state’s attorney general’s office sent a warning letter to the Planned Parenthood Golden Gate Action Fund, the political advocacy and public policy arm of the affiliate, because the organization has failed to file copies of its tax documents with that that office for at least 10 years.
“We do not have any reports on file for them,” Rebecca MacLaren from the attorney general’s press office wrote in an e-mail.

The warning cautioned that if the organization fails to file those forms within 30 days, its registration would be suspended and officers would be personally liable for late fees.

In the letter, the clinicians detail a myriad of problems in the organization, including their concerns about “the misappropriation and mismanagement of PPGG’s funds.” The letter accuses the executive staff of profligate spending during lean times:

It is apparent that while Medical Services has been mandated and has complied with financial reform and cost savings, the Executive Administrative members have failed to adhere to their own mandate for financial restrictions. Executive staff’s personal expenditures are excessive and are not aligned with the mandatory fiscal restrictions. Flagrant use of PPGG funds to pay for personal belongings, personal services and exorbitant technology products is seemingly unchallenged and not subject to the same financial scrutiny that clinic supplies and staff salaries are, for example.

When Harrison replied to their concerns in a letter dated November 14, 2008, she assured the clinicians and doctors that administration was feeling the fiscal pain, too: “Administration has temporarily or permanently frozen a number of positions, budgets were cut, expenses were halted for a period of time and office supplies were not purchased,” she wrote.

And from the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

Former employees saw problems coming at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate
By Rebecca / San Francisco Bay Guardian
Created 08/11/2010 – 4:08pm

This week’s announcement that Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) was severing ties with Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) came as no surprise to some former employees, who have for months been trying to sound the alarm that the chapter was being mismanaged, had major financial problems, and was in a steep decline that could threaten important reproductive care services that low-income women rely on.

A former PPGG employee with knowledge of the organization’s internal affairs described a longstanding pattern of financial mismanagement when former president and CEO Dian Harrison was at the helm. There was widespread concern about spending on expensive marketing campaigns and lavish functions, the person said, and a high level of employee turnover and discontent.

Warning signs of financial difficulties surfaced at least a year ago. Dan Cohen, a spokesperson of the Packard Foundation — a major donor to PPGG — told the Guardian that Packard awarded PPGG a 12-month, $30,000 “organizational effectiveness” grant, which will expire in September. The grant “allows an organization to select a talented, external provider to help them think through some of these challenges,” Cohen explained. The Packard Foundation also awarded a 3-year grant for general operating support for $800,000, which will also expire next month.

Another former employee told the Guardian that she would love to discuss internal problems, but was made to sign a confidentiality agreement upon leaving the organization.

Therese Wilson, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate — who took over PPGG when Harrison left last year on medical leave — did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

An internal PPGG document provided to the Guardian displays the agency’s on-hand cash reserves as compared with other affiliates, suggesting that the reserve ratios were at or below the minimum required by the national Planned Parenthood federation for all but one year from 1998 to 2007 — and well below that of other affiliates of similar size. That is a key requirement for meeting accreditation standards.

When we asked Elizabeth Toledo, a PPFA representative, about this apparent pattern she said she could not comment because she had not seen the documents. She also said the accreditation reviews were confidential. “Understanding the true financial picture for health care providers takes a very in-depth evaluation,” Toledo said. “PPFA and PPGG were working together over the last few years to resolve fiscal challenges.”

Despite delays at the state level in awarding nonprofit funding and the loss of support from the national organization, Toledo and a union representative for PPGG employees both said they believe the clinics will continue serving patients under a different name.

“They plan to stay open, and employees are planning to stay,” said SEIU Local 1021 representative Sarah Sherpun-Zimmer, who has been a union rep for PPGG employees for the last two years. “Folks are really happy working there and they feel like it’s going in a good direction.”

PPGG operated eight clinics, which will lose their Planned Parenthood accreditation Sept. 3, effectively severing their ties to a trusted entity that thousands of low-income women rely upon for birth control, abortion procedures, and other forms of reproductive health care. PPGG operates clinics in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino counties, serving about 55,000 women per year.

Roughly 92 percent of the clients they serve live at or below the federal poverty line, according to PPGG’s 2008 annual report.

Planned Parenthood affiliates Mar Monte and Shasta Diablo are in the process of hatching plans for taking over some of the eight affected clinics or otherwise growing their own operations to cover any gaps in service area, according to Toledo. She said neighboring affiliates are in a position financially to be able to cover a wider territory and added that they have been in “expansion mode,” adding new clinics over the past couple years.

“It’s unusual to have a disaffiliation,” she said. “But it’s not unusual for national committees to have a reallocation of service area. That part is well-practiced.” Toledo added that “Every effort possible will be made” to ensure continuity of care.
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According to a press release issued by, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” a film financed by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate,Dian Harrison also served on these boards:the National Abortion Federation, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and she blogs for RH Reality Check , Harrison was also a guest speaker at a NAF conference

In 2008 Assembly member Mary Hayashi Named Dian Harrison Of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate Her “Woman Of The Year”

In a report of the top paid Planned Parenthood employees for 2008, Harrison made the list when the California Catholic Daily reported this

Dian Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $274,438
Benefits: $18,976
Expense Account: $11,340
Total Compensation: $304,754

Here Harrison brags about her rich and lavish new design for the abortion clinic she managed !

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In 2008, Planned Parenthood cut ties with their South Florida offices:

The July 2, 2008 Miami Herald article entitled, Planned Parenthood cuts ties with 5 clinics
reported this:

One of the nation’s best-known groups of health centers has permanently shut down a cluster of clinics in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Planned Parenthood officially severed its ties Monday with five local clinics — four in Broward and one in Boca Raton — whose top administrator has acknowledged a history of “terrible mismanagement and possibly fraud.”

The disaffiliation allowed the national organization to wash its hands of the local chapter once known as Planned Parenthood of South Palm Beach and Broward Counties.

The chapter is dealing with many problems, including harassment complaints and possible misuse of nearly $450,000 — slightly less than they received in public funding in 2005.

“All these issues are now issues that they will have to face without us,” said Karen Ruffato, vice president of operations for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The attitude has angered Ruth Lynch, the former Broward chapter’s CEO, who said the national organization bailed out before the local chapter could resolve its problems.

Lynch, who replaced former CEO Mary Capobianco in March, said that within two weeks of her arrival she found she could not account for $440,000 of the chapter’s $3 million budget.

“We take responsibility that there was horrible management,” Lynch said. “But that was then. This is now. We have a new board.”

CHAPTER’S PLANS

Lynch said that the chapter’s board of trustees plans to eventually open and continue medical services at the five clinics — in Oakland Park, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton — but without the trusted name of Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s most recognized clinics in the field of reproductive heathcare.

“We don’t feel this was simple disaffiliation, we feel this was a hostile takeover,” Lynch said.

“And it was more about the Planned Parenthood trademark than it was about helping the community.”

At least 16,000 people used the five clinics for services such as breast exams, testing for HIV and abortions. In 2005, it received $500,000 in taxpayer funding.

HARSH REVIEW

The disbanding of the relationship ended a months-long back and forth between the Broward chapter and the national organization, which temporarily shut down the clinics in March after delivering a harsh review about the chapter’s administration.

Popular employees were fired. An employee alleged sexual harassment against a former CEO, Capobianco. The local board was investigating a rumor that its 2006 annual report was plagiarized.

SHUT DOWN

Ruffato said Planned Parenthood wanted to disaffiliate from the Broward chapter as soon as possible.

By March, the clinics were temporarily shut down.

They began the process in April to permanently strip the five clinics of the Planned Parenthood name.

Instead, Ruffato said they entrusted the more-reputable Planned Parenthood of Greater Miami, Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast to open one clinic in Broward and one in Boca Raton.

Ruffato said the Greater Miami chapter is one of the country’s best.

‘UNFORTUNATE’

“This is a very rare situation and a very unfortunate situation,” Ruffato said. “And as sad and as hard as moving through a disaffiliation is, I believe our ultimate responsibility is to the mission. And ultimately we need to make sure that your community clinic has the best healthcare and meets our high standards.”

For now, Planned Parenthood is concentrating on replacing the five clinics with at least two, said Judith Selzer, spokeswoman for the Greater Miami chapter. Officers plan to select one site by next month.

Selzer said they will add clinics “as quickly and swiftly as the community needs.”

The chapter plans to include Broward residents on the staff and board of trustees.

Said Selzer: “We’re poised and we’re ready to do this.”

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The National Planned Parenthood Office has NEVER denounced their racist founder Margaret Sanger who pushed eugenics, sterilization, and black genocide as documented in the film: Maafa21

More Here

READ: Accusations continue to fly against Planned Parenthood Golden Gate by those who claim to be in the “know”

What’s with NARAL employees and theft? Pro-abortion lobby group head to plead guilty to felony

Posted in Financial mismanagement, NARAL, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by saynsumthn


Kelli Conlin, ex-boss of abortion rights group Naral, pleads guilty to stealing $75,000 from the org

The ex-boss of a leading abortion rights group pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing $75,000 from the organization – using donor money to pay her high-flying lifestyle.

Report: NARAL leader to plead guilty to felony for fleecing New York affiliate
by Peter J. Smith Wed Jun 22, 2011 14:31 EST

NEW YORK, June 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kelli Conlin, former head of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, will plead guilty to felony charges of falsifying documents to cover up a major financial scandal, according to sources with YNN.

YNN’s Capital Tonight program revealed that sources have informed them that Conlin has cut a deal with the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who launched a criminal investigation against Conlin.

Conlin will plead guilty to Class E felony, and make restitution to NARAL Pro-Choice New York for all the money she fleeced from the abortion advocacy group.
Capital Tonight reports that their sources say she will serve no jail time, just probation, as part of the deal.

Back in February, Capital Tonight reported that they had obtained an exclusive copy of a forensic audit conducted for NARAL Pro Choice New York that showed Conlin had appropriated hundreds of thousands of the organization’s dollars – since at least 2008 – to fund a lavish personal lifestyle.

That audit shows Conlin used NARAL’s credit cards to purchase over $5000 in clothing from retailers like Giorgio Armani, a $17,000 summer rental in the Hamptons in 2009, and $22,000 in meals. The purchases on the company dime also included a $100,000 car service to drop off her children at school in Manhattan’s posh Upper West Side.
Sources to YNN said Conlin was fired after the revelation.

Capital Tonight also reported that Conlin’s paycheck from NARAL totaled $309,000 for 2009 – out of an annual budget of $4.5 million. They also reported that the audit shows that a number of large transactions of money that moved around NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s accounts appear dubious, and may hide other financial improprieties.

Pro-life advocate Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, jumped on Conlin’s apparent embezzlement, when the story broke, saying the incident was evidence of the corruption of abortion advocacy groups.

Conlin was a fixture at NARAL Pro-Choice New York, having led that chapter as president since 1992. Her sudden unexplained departure in January 2011 raised questions about the reasons for her leaving.

Capital Tonight adds that the New York Attorney General’s office may press civil charges against Conlin. It reports that the early resolution of the case allows NARAL’s New York chapter to avoid a messy public trial, and recover themselves as a political force in New York elections in time for 2012.

Read Capital Tonight’s full report http://www.capitaltonight.com/2011/06/sources-ex-naral-president-pleading-guilty-to-felony/

Kelli Conlin, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health and NARAL Pro-Choice New York, speaking at the 2010 Champions of Choice Award Luncheon on April 26.
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And here’s and old story about another NARAL staffer: Ex Wisconsin NARAL (Pro-abortion) advocate accused of stealing-2nd time ?

From the blog: Political Capital

KATY HERINGLAKE, who once had a no-show job working in the state Capitol for state Sen. Jeff Plale, D-Milwaukee, is back in the news.

A former aide to then-Sen. Brian Burke, she, reportedly, was “convicted of swiping $13,000 from National Abortion Rights Action League of Wisconsin,” Where she used to work.

Now Katy Venskus, she lobbies for AT&T Wisconsin and Education Reform Now.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard reportedly is charging Venskus, 34, of Oconomowoc, with two felonies for allegedly using her lobbying company’s credit card on more than $15,000 in personal expenses.

The complaint against Venskus, which was reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, says “she purchased $369 worth of steak from Badger Wholesale Foods for her family with an American Express card owned by Minneapolis-based Public Affairs Co., for which she had worked since January 2008. Venskus left the firm last year.”

Her lawyer, Stephen Meyer, reportedly told the Wisconsin State Journal, that the complaint contained “only allegations” and that the full story had not come out. She is quoted in the complaint as saying, “I’ve reimbursed everything, I’ve paid back all charges, and I’ve done nothing wrong.”

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The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal confirms:

Katy Heringlake was caught up in the caucus scandal as a staffer to then-Sen. Brian Burke and was convicted of swiping $13,000 from National Abortion Rights Action League of Wisconsin, for which she used to work.

A few years later, she re-emerged as Katy Venskus and landed jobs as a campaign manager, a legislative aide and eventually a Capitol lobbyist.

But her life is taking a familiar turn.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard is charging Venskus, 34, of Oconomowoc, with two felonies for allegedly using her lobbying company’s credit card on more than $15,000 in personal expenses.

For instance, the complaint says, Venskus purchased $369 worth of steak from Badger Wholesale Foods for her family with an American Express card owned by Minneapolis-based Public Affairs Co., for which she had worked since January 2008. Venskus left the firm last year.

Her lawyer, Stephen Meyer, was not available for comment Wednesday. He told the Wisconsin State Journal, however, that the complaint contained “only allegations” and that the full story had not come out. She is quoted in the complaint as saying, “I’ve reimbursed everything, I’ve paid back all charges, and I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Venskus currently lobbies for AT&T Wisconsin and Education Reform Now, which advocates for a mayoral takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools. The group is headed by former Journal Sentinel education reporter Joe Williams.

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From the Milwaukee Express: (Click Title to read and see links)

MPS Takeover Lobbyist Katy Venskus Charged with Felony Theft and Identity Theft
Posted at 11:05 AM
In Section: Daily Dose Posted By: Lisa Kaiser

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Katy Venskus, lobbyist/state director for the MPS takeover groups Education Reform Now (ERN) and Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), as well as a lobbyist for AT&T, has been charged with felony theft and identity theft.

Seems that she’s suspected of using the credit cards of her former employer, the lobbying firm Public Affairs Company, for $15,473 in unauthorized purchases—including a freezer full of steaks, allegedly.

Her lawyer says these are only allegations and everything can be explained.

This isn’t Venskus’ first run-in with the law.

In 2002 she pleaded no contest to forgery for stealing $13,000 from a different employer, NARAL of Wisconsin. That, too, was a felony.

After that conviction, Venskus worked for Sen. Brian Burke during his fundraising scandal, then raised money for Sen. Jeff Plale’s campaign and was later hired as his capitol staffer, then branched out into lobbying, first with Public Affairs Company, then on her own.

I interviewed Venskus for an article I wrote about ERN/DFER’s connections to Wall Street hedge fund managers. I’d heard rumors about her conviction, but didn’t think it was truly relevant to the story. You know, people can be rehabilitated. Felons can become lobbyists under the law. So I didn’t print anything about her conviction and focused on her present role as a takeover advocate. I added some additional information on my blog—how she hadn’t registered as a lobbyist on the takeover bill until I pointed it out to her, her dismissive attitude toward voters, her attempt to portray herself as a director of a grassroots group when she’s really a paid lobbyist.

Later, I got phone calls and emails from readers who knew about her criminal past and were upset that she had such a prominent role in the takeover debate. Looks like they had reason to be upset.

One other irony—despite being a felon, Venskus can affect public policy at the highest levels as a registered lobbyist. Yet she couldn’t be licensed to become a day care provider. Hmmm…

Ex Wisconsin NARAL (Pro-abortion) advocate accused of stealing-2nd time ?

Posted in Abortion, NARAL, Pro-choice law breakers with tags , , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by saynsumthn

From the blog: Political Capital

KATY HERINGLAKE, who once had a no-show job working in the state Capitol for state Sen. Jeff Plale, D-Milwaukee, is back in the news.

A former aide to then-Sen. Brian Burke, she, reportedly, was “convicted of swiping $13,000 from National Abortion Rights Action League of Wisconsin,” Where she used to work.

Now Katy Venskus, she lobbies for AT&T Wisconsin and Education Reform Now.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard reportedly is charging Venskus, 34, of Oconomowoc, with two felonies for allegedly using her lobbying company’s credit card on more than $15,000 in personal expenses.

The complaint against Venskus, which was reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, says “she purchased $369 worth of steak from Badger Wholesale Foods for her family with an American Express card owned by Minneapolis-based Public Affairs Co., for which she had worked since January 2008. Venskus left the firm last year.”

Her lawyer, Stephen Meyer, reportedly told the Wisconsin State Journal, that the complaint contained “only allegations” and that the full story had not come out. She is quoted in the complaint as saying, “I’ve reimbursed everything, I’ve paid back all charges, and I’ve done nothing wrong.”

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The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal confirms:

Katy Heringlake was caught up in the caucus scandal as a staffer to then-Sen. Brian Burke and was convicted of swiping $13,000 from National Abortion Rights Action League of Wisconsin, for which she used to work.

A few years later, she re-emerged as Katy Venskus and landed jobs as a campaign manager, a legislative aide and eventually a Capitol lobbyist.

But her life is taking a familiar turn.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard is charging Venskus, 34, of Oconomowoc, with two felonies for allegedly using her lobbying company’s credit card on more than $15,000 in personal expenses.

For instance, the complaint says, Venskus purchased $369 worth of steak from Badger Wholesale Foods for her family with an American Express card owned by Minneapolis-based Public Affairs Co., for which she had worked since January 2008. Venskus left the firm last year.

Her lawyer, Stephen Meyer, was not available for comment Wednesday. He told the Wisconsin State Journal, however, that the complaint contained “only allegations” and that the full story had not come out. She is quoted in the complaint as saying, “I’ve reimbursed everything, I’ve paid back all charges, and I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Venskus currently lobbies for AT&T Wisconsin and Education Reform Now, which advocates for a mayoral takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools. The group is headed by former Journal Sentinel education reporter Joe Williams.

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From the Milwaukee Express: (Click Title to read and see links)

MPS Takeover Lobbyist Katy Venskus Charged with Felony Theft and Identity Theft
Posted at 11:05 AM
In Section: Daily Dose Posted By: Lisa Kaiser

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Katy Venskus, lobbyist/state director for the MPS takeover groups Education Reform Now (ERN) and Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), as well as a lobbyist for AT&T, has been charged with felony theft and identity theft.

Seems that she’s suspected of using the credit cards of her former employer, the lobbying firm Public Affairs Company, for $15,473 in unauthorized purchases—including a freezer full of steaks, allegedly.

Her lawyer says these are only allegations and everything can be explained.

This isn’t Venskus’ first run-in with the law.

In 2002 she pleaded no contest to forgery for stealing $13,000 from a different employer, NARAL of Wisconsin. That, too, was a felony.

After that conviction, Venskus worked for Sen. Brian Burke during his fundraising scandal, then raised money for Sen. Jeff Plale’s campaign and was later hired as his capitol staffer, then branched out into lobbying, first with Public Affairs Company, then on her own.

I interviewed Venskus for an article I wrote about ERN/DFER’s connections to Wall Street hedge fund managers. I’d heard rumors about her conviction, but didn’t think it was truly relevant to the story. You know, people can be rehabilitated. Felons can become lobbyists under the law. So I didn’t print anything about her conviction and focused on her present role as a takeover advocate. I added some additional information on my blog—how she hadn’t registered as a lobbyist on the takeover bill until I pointed it out to her, her dismissive attitude toward voters, her attempt to portray herself as a director of a grassroots group when she’s really a paid lobbyist.

Later, I got phone calls and emails from readers who knew about her criminal past and were upset that she had such a prominent role in the takeover debate. Looks like they had reason to be upset.

One other irony—despite being a felon, Venskus can affect public policy at the highest levels as a registered lobbyist. Yet she couldn’t be licensed to become a day care provider. Hmmm…