Racine, Wis., mayor resigns
Racine, Wis., Mayor Gary Becker resigned Tuesday, little more than one week after being indicted on charges of attempted sexual assault of a child, child enticement and possession of child pornography, according to local news reports. Becker’s resignation came hours before the Racine Common Council was scheduled to meet to consider removing him from office.
Becker’s attorney, Patrick Cafferty, delivered a one-sentence resignation letter to city hall Tuesday morning, saying Becker had decided it “was in everybody’s best interest,” Cafferty told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (WDOJ) released little information about Becker’s indictment apart from listing the charges against him, which also include misconduct in public office, exposing a child to harmful materials, and use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. The Journal-Sentinel also reported that Becker had been arrested at an area mall during a sting in which the mayor had exchanged salacious e-mails with an undercover agent he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
Officials with the WDOJ’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force told the Journal-Sentinel that this may be the first time the task force has brought charges against an elected official.