Today, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed criminal charges against former UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice-Chancellor of Administrative Services and Chief Business Officer Thomas Sonnleitner. Wells and Sonnleitner are being charged in relation to improper financial transactions that occurred under their former administration from 2010-2014 related to five real estate projects.
In January 2017, the Board of Regents and UW System asked DOJ to pursue civil charges against the two former administrators. Below is a statement from Board of Regents Audit Committee Chair, Michael M. Grebe, regarding today’s announcement that DOJ is pursuing criminal charges:
“Last year, the Board of Regents and UW System asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice to pursue civil and criminal charges against two former campus leaders who broke the sacred trust they carried as public UW officials. The Board took this unprecedented action because Dr. Wells and Mr. Sonnleitner failed to follow rules and statutes that govern university operations, and we are working diligently to rebuild confidence in our institutions and to improve the transparency of foundation transactions. We support these charges by DOJ, and will continue to seek justice in this case while serving students with integrity and transparency.”